What Is Shockwave Therapy?
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy uses high-powered sound waves to stimulate the healing of chronically injured tissues like tendons or over the painful joints of osetoarthritis. We also use shockwave for vascular erectile dysfunction and it has also found application in pelvic pain. Shockwave therapy has been used in medicine for over 20 years and has a large body of evidence proving its effectiveness having been adapted from lithotripsy treatment that is still used today as a treatment to break down kidney stones.
This is only available at our Mumbles and Swansea Clinics.
Shockwave therapy is very different from ultrasound therapy and can mechanically stimulate tissues deep within the body unlike other types of sound wave therapies.
There are TWO types of shockwave therapy. Radial and Focus.......At Core Body Clinic, we use FOCUS shockwave and there is a good reason why:
When Should You Consider Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave can be used at varying points of the injury cycle and like all injuries we tend to leave things until its not got better. While it is not a panacea and should be used as part of a clinical rehab and treatment plan, it is known to have particular application in the following conditions:
Can Shockwave help with Erectile Dysfunction?
Yes. Piezo electric sound stimulation can help in up to 80% of cases in vasular erectile dysfunction**. Making Shockwave a good choice for erectile problems. This, combined with our Mens Health Program at Core Body Clinic is the best chance we can offer men with erectile problems.
What are the success rates of shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy has been shown to provide a 80-90% success rate in reducing chronic tendinitis pain within 12 weeks of starting treatment.
What are the contra-indications?
- Shockwave Therapy can not be used:
- If you are pregnant
- Over open growth plates
- Over the lungs
- Over major blood vessels
- Over infected areas
- If you have had a recent steroid injection
- If you are on anti-coagulant medication
- If you have an active cancer
Is shockwave therapy safe?
Yes. Shockwave therapy is extremely safe having been used on millions of patients around the world with virtually no negative side effects. Recent NICE guidelines recommend the use of shockwave therapy and emphasise the safety of the therapy.
- A temporary reddening of the area treated
- A temporary increase in pain fro 24 hours after treatment
- Mild to moderate pain during treatment
- Low level bruising if the treated area
What to expect during Shockwave therapy treatment?
Prior to engaging in shockwave therapy your diagnosis will need to be confirmed by a diagnostic ultrasound scan. This is to ensure you are a good candidate for the therapy and to optimise results.
Once diagnosis has been confirmed your therapist will apply the shockwaves to the injured tissue. Typically this will correlate with some tender areas located around your injury. The treatment is non-invasive so no needles are used. There is also no need for local anaesthetic. The treatments itself lasts no longer than 8-10 minutes. During the treatment you should expect to feel some mild to moderate discomfort, this is required in order to achieve maximum benefits. The energy levels applied during treatment can be adapted to suit each individual patient.
What Do I need to do after treatment?
One of the main advantages of shockwave therapy is there are no major restrictions on patients after treatments. It is recommended that heavy impact activity is restricted for 24 hours after treatment but patients will be fine to drive and return to work after treatments.
Many athletes and elite sports teams use shockwave therapy over injections to manage injuries as it allows them to continue training and playing throughout the season.
Do I need to do any other treatments with Shockwave therapy?
Yes. In order to maximally benefit from shockwave therapy it must be combined with a specific stretching or strengthening home exercise programme. The exercises required will be demonstrated and progressed by your therapist during each session.
When will I notice improvements?
Most people will notice an almost instant decrease in pain after treatment. This will be a temporary decrease as the tissue has been desensitised. Over time the pain relief becomes more permanent. Typically most people notice a significant improvement in symptoms 3-6 weeks after their first session. The optimal results of shockwave therapy are realised at 12 weeks after the first treatment.
How many treatments will I need?
Every patient will require a minimum dose of 3 treatments performed at weekly intervals. After the 3rd treatment patients will be reviewed at 6 weeks to assess response to treatment – at that point a decision on further treatment can be made. If an injury has been present for a long-time then a further 3 treatments may be required. Typically patients do not require more than 6 sessions.
For shockwave in erectile dysfunction patients and pelvic pain, the delivery of treatment is longer and the number of sessions is higher with 6 to 8 sessions more typical.
What device do CoreBodyClinic use?
At Core Body Clinics we only use the highest-grade medical shockwave therapy equipment. The devices used are the original Swiss made shockwave therapy machines as used in the NICE guideline recommendation trials. We use the Storz Duolith Focus Shockwave system.
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