Here’s what you need to know about the newest tool in Physiotherapy: Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy
First of all, the name is much more complicated than it needs to be. It is often simply called “shockwave” for short, and the machine does exactly that: it generates shockwaves in order to help ligaments and tendons heal. It is particularly useful when injuries have become chronic, as it aims to “restart” the healing process.
Not all injuries are created equal; some respond to traditional treatment, other times they don’t. Sometimes people will feel as though they have tried everything, yet their injury still persists. This is where shockwave therapy comes in. It is a treatment that takes advantage of the body’s natural healing response, causing increased blood flow, re-starting the inflammatory response required to heal an injury as well as other healing factors. This is the reason it is particularly useful with chronic injuries since it is able to trick the body into thinking the injury is fresh, thus causing more aggressive healing.
Shockwave is relatively new, so research is constantly coming out regarding what it is useful to treat. Here’s what current evidence tells us what shockwave may be helpful for:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendonitis
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylalgia)
- Patellar tendinopathy
- Rotator cuff tendinopathy
- Calcific tendinitis
- Greater trochanteric pain syndrome (trochanteric bursitis)
There are many other conditions that shockwave could be effective for, but there is not enough research yet. The proposed method of shockwave suggests that it could be helpful for any tendon or ligament injury that doesn’t respond to traditional treatment.
Lastly, shockwave is considered safe and non-invasive, so if you have an injury that is not responding the way you’d like it, shockwave therapy could be for you.
Book in at https://bloorparkphysio.janeapp.com or by calling 647-368-4400. If you are unsure if shockwave is right for your condition book a free consultation and one of our physiotherapists will answer any questions you have.