Radial Shockwave Therapy is an excellent alternative with impressive results for people with chronic pain who have exhausted all other treatment. What sets this treatment apart from traditional treatments is that it treats the muscloskeletal pathology instead of just offering symptomatic relief.Each radial shockwave treatment works to increase the metabolic activity around the site of pain or discomfort, stimulating the reabsorption of irritative calcium deposits in tendons and stimulate the body’s natural healing process, thus reducing pain.
What does it involve?
The physiotherapist will pass over the injured area with the shockwave applicator, you should expect to feel some discomfort but this will resolve within 24 hours. Radial shockwave therapy typically requires 5 treatments, one week apart for optimal results. Most patients feel the results immediately after treatment and can continue to feel the effects several weeks later.
What conditions can it be used for?
Radial Shockwave Therapy provides treatments to patients suffering from a range of chronic conditions that are notoriously difficult to resolve. Conditions that can be treated with radial shockwave are:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles Tendinopathy
- Shoulder tendonitis
- Tibial stress syndrome
- Jumpers knee/ Patella tendonitis
- Tennis and Golfers elbow
- Heel spurs
- Pain in the; groin, hip, hamstrings, wrist
- Trigger points
What is the evidence?
According to the Journal of Orthopedic Research (2005), there was a 90% improvement for the treatment of Plantar Fasciitis, and a 77% improvement treating Tennis Elbow with Radial Shockwave Therapy. There are a number of trails that support the use of Shockwave Therapy:
- Rompe et al 2008, Eccentric Loading Compared with Shock Wave treatment for Chronic Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy, J Bone Joint Surg Am 2008; 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 2007; 18: 101- 111
- Rompe, JD; Radial Shock Wave Therapy- Where do we stand today?; Translation from Medical Special, Apr 2006