The Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (EWST) involves the delivery of high-frequency shock waves to the injured tendon to stimulate healing. It can be a useful treatment for chronic tendon conditions that have not responded to other treatments.

Effectiveness of Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is highly effective when it comes to chronic tendon and musculoskeletal injuries. Providing mobility restoration and fast pain relief, this multidisciplinary treatment is used in sports medicine, physiotherapy, urology and orthopedics. 

To provide speedy recovery from the pain, shockwave therapy increases the inflammation in the affected area while also increasing the blood flow to it. It also helps in breaking down fibrous scar tissues, which may have built up over time due to chronic conditions. Thus, this treatment promotes tissue healing by stimulating cell regeneration, which ultimately helps in decreasing the pain.

Conditions Treated by Shockwave Therapy

  • Lateral epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
  • Achilles Tendinitis (Heel Pain)
  • Patellar tendinopathy (Knee)
  • Proximal hamstring tendinopathy
  • Plantar Fasciitis (Medial Arch Pain)
  • Patellar Tendinitis (Jumper’s Knee)
  • Calcific Tendonitis
  • Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (Lateral Hip Pain)

What does treatment involve?

Typical treatment involves 2-5 sessions of EWST at weekly intervals. The probe is placed over the injured tendon and shock waves are generated to stimulate tendon healing. Each treatment session takes 5-10 minutes to perform.

Shockwave therapy treatment is highly recommended for sportspersons who have failed to recover from injuries through the first-line treatments (ice, rest, bracing, therapeutic exercise, orthotics, among others) and those who do not want to go for surgical options. For instance, a track athlete, who is experiencing a jumper’s knee and is unable to practice, can choose shockwave therapy if he/she doesn’t want to undergo surgical methods.

Advantages of Shockwave therapy are

  • Non invasive/non surgical
  • No medication involved
  • No anesthesia required
  • No surgery
  • Minimal side effects – (transient redness, small bruise, transient increase in pain)
  • Fast treatment – 30 minutes per session, 3 to 4 sessions required 1 week apart.
  • Facilitates immediate reduction in pain.
  • Significant clinical benefit often seen 6 to 8 weeks after treatment.

Side Effects and Recommendations

There are almost no side effects to EWST. Many patients find they experience mild pain or discomfort during treatment usually subsides quickly after treatment. It is advisable to avoid strenuous activity for 48 hours after treatment.

Should you require additional information or would like to make an appointment with our Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Ishrat Khan OR Physical Therapist and Shockwave Therapy Specialist ,  Anil Daniel, please call us or e-mail us at info@westminsterclinic.ae

Reference:

  • oxfordhealth.nhs.uk
  • Hopkinsmedicine.org
  • yourphysio.org.uk
  • Lin TC, Lin CY, Chou CL, Chiu CM.Phys Ther Sport. 2012 Aug;13(3):189-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2011.08.002. Epub 2011 Sep 15.
  • Rasmussen S, Christensen M, Mathiesen I, Simonson O.Acta Orthop. 2008 Apr;79(2):249-56. doi: 10.1080/17453670710015058.
  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy: an update. Auersperg V, Trieb K.EFORT Open Rev. 2020 Oct 26;5(10):584-592. doi: 10.1302/2058-5241.5.190067. eCollection 2020 Oct.

Disclaimer: All contents on this site are for general information and in no circumstances information be substituted for professional advice from the relevant healthcare professional, Writer does not take responsibility of any damage done by the misuse or use of the information.