You hear the term “Shockwave Therapy” every now and then around physiotherapy clinics, speciality foot clinics and by friends! But what does it mean? Why does it sound so cool? What’s being shocked?!
We’ll be covering the benefits and factors involved in the shockwave therapy process below.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy was originally used in 1980 as a non-invasive medical procedure for the breakdown of kidney stones. However, in the last twenty years or so, it is being used as a method for treating a number of orthopaedic disorders including plantar fasciitis, Tennis elbow, calcific tendonitis of the shoulder, Achilles tendinopathy, and patellar tendinopathy. Many scientific research articles, including a review article in the Journal of orthopedic surgery and research by Ching-Jen Wang, prove positive effects (ie significant reduction of pain and improved functionality) with the use of shockwave therapy as a treatment for musculoskeletal disorders, making it an evidence-based therapeutic modality.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a safe, effective, convenient way to treat painful tendinopathies especially when all other conservative routes have proven unsuccessful. It has the potential of replacing surgery for a number of musculoskeletal disorders and therefore, avoids the risks and post-operative care that come along with invasive procedures. Recovery and side effects of shockwave therapy are minimal and generally well tolerated.
The exact mechanism of action of shockwave therapy is not fully understood, but what we do know is that through the application of high-intensity sound waves concentrated to a focal area, a cascade of biological responses is propagated. This in turn enhances metabolism, circulation, revascularization, and tissue regeneration. Ultimately, an induced inflammatory response encourages natural healing and repair of the tendon.
How long it takes shockwave therapy to work will depend on the indication and tissue response. If improvements are seen, treatment will usually continue until complete resolution of symptoms. On average, shockwave therapy requires about 3-6 sessions, waiting a week between appointments. One treatment lasts 15-30 minutes.
If you’re in Toronto, we recommend Bloor Jane Physiotherapy as our place of choice for all your shockwave therapy and physiotherapy needs. We specialize in foot care services, conditions and treatments. Often it’s complimentary to pair any treatment to your muscles, with a follow-up shockwave therapy treatment. Unlike most other muscle relief, shockwave therapy is among the most immediate options toward relief.
Call 415-766-2050 to Book An Appointment at Bloor Jane Physiotherapy and/or
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