Shockwave Therapy

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What is Radial Shock Wave Therapy (RSWT)?

RSWT is the application of a high-energy acoustic pulse transmitted into the tissue of the affected area of the body.

Each RSWT treatment works to increase the metabolic activity around the site of pain or discomfort. This is claimed to stimulate the body’s natural healing process, thus reducing pain and promoting the reabsorption of irritative calcium deposits in tendons. In pain management, RSWT is usually applied in three treatment sessions, each one week apart. 

How does it work?

C nerve fibres are responsible for transmitting pain in the body. They release a specific substance known as substance P. This substance is responsible for causing slight discomfort during and after shock wave treatment. However, with prolonged activation, C nerve fibres become incapable, for some time, of releasing substance P and causing pain.

Less substance P in the tissue leads to reduced pain and a reduction on neurogenic inflammation. A decline in neurogenic inflammation may in turn promote healing through the release of growth factors and the activation of stem cells in the treated tissue.

In the treatment of tendinopathy it is thought that the energy delivered via RSWT results in an increase in the diffusion of substances called cytokines across vessel walls into the pain-generating region. This results in the resolution of the tendinopathy via the stimulation of angiogenesis (development of new bloods vessels) and the healing process

This therapy can be an effective treatment for damaged soft tissue and bone insertion conditions such as;

Contact our clinic to make an appointment, our practitioners will assess your condition and recommend an appropriate  course of shock wave therapy.

Literature evidence

  • Rompe et al (2008) Eccentric loading compared with shock wave treatment for chronic insertional achilles tendinopathy. J Bone Joint Surg Am, 90:52-61.
  • Han et al (2009) Effect of extracorporeal shock wave therapy on cultured tenocytes, foot and ankle International. 30:93-98.
  • Furia et al (2007) Extracorporeal shock wave therapy in the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy. Current Opin Orthop, 18:101-111.