Extracoproreal Shockwave Therapy (ECSWT)
Shockwave therapy can be used for the treatment of chronic (long standing) inflammatory soft tissue conditions that have not responded to more conservative management options (steroid injections, medication or physiotherapy). It is used to treat conditions such as tendonitis, bursitis, enthesitis and fasciitis. Although it can be a very beneficial treatment it is not a first-line treatment option because results can take 2 to 4 months.
What to expect during ECSWT treatment.
You will feel a sharp ‘snapping’ sensation produced by the head of the shockwave transducer. The intensity of the treatments can be adjusted so it should not be a painful experience but (as one patient put it) “it is a reminder that you are alive”.
After each treatment you may experience some exacerbation of the pain for which you are being treated and this can last up to 24 hours. Simple analgesics like Paracetamol or Ibuprofen can help with this.
How does it work?
There are several theories proposed to explain how shockwave therapy ‘works’. It is thought that by physically irritating damaged tissues, the body’s inflammation and repair response is re-initiated. The inflammatory or degenerative soft tissue pathologies for which ECSWT is recommended often show delayed or halted repair processes – angiogenesis, necrosis or excessive proliferation of damaged tissue.
What conditions can be treated by ECSWT?
- Plantar fasciitis (heel spurs)
- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondyloses)
- Golfers elbow (medial epicondyloses)
- Trochanteric bursitis
- Achilles tendonopathy/enthesopathy
- Patella tendonopathy (patella tendinitis)
- ITB friction syndrome
- Shoulder bursitis/tendonitis
- Morton’s neuroma
How do we achieve such resounding outcomes?
- Your medical management will be optimised. Patients are frequently referred to Kingsley Medical without appropriate management – medications are unsuitable and often semi-invasive or manual therapies have not been appropriately administered. We will remedy this.
- Often, biomechanical treatments have not been appropriately administered – physiotherapy or podiatric care (orthotics) are poorly administered/prescribed. Kingsley Medical will provide necessary correction of orthotics and biomechanical adjuvants – you will be prescribed appropriate braces, orthoses and strapping/tapping advice.
- We treat your issue until it is ‘fixed’ – many providers of ECSWT therapy charge patients per consultation. At Kingsley Medical we have a ‘fix one, fix all’ philosophy. (read below for more information)
Our advice to all ECSWT patients:
- Please be patient. ECSWT takes time to ‘work’. Results can take several weeks to notice and full resolution may take 3 to 4 months or more. Therefore, ECSWT is not a ‘first-line’ treatment – you should only consider this treatment when other treatment options have failed or are not suitable.
- Treatment may be uncomfortable but should not be painful. It is possible that treatment will initially exacerbate your symptoms. Please inform us so that your treatment regime can be altered.
- Each treatment session will last 5 to 10 minutes and will include both low frequency and high-frequency applications.
- The treatment of lower limb pathologies (plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, patella tendonitis, trochanteric bursitis etc) usually requires between 8 and 12 treatments.Upper limb pathologies (tennis elbow, golfers elbow, tendonitis, bursitis) respond sooner – 4 to 8 treatments.
- During your treatment you may be prescribed adjunctive medication – corticosteroids, analgesics, anti-inflammatories or even antibiotics that aim to facilitate tissue repair or reduce inflammation.
- You may be advised to use supportive devices – braces, orthotics, silicone heel cups etc. Please ensure you understand how to use these devices and how often they should be worn.
- You will be prescribed suitable exercises to hasten your recovery – this may include stretches, eccentric strengthening or muscle recruitment techniques. Your compliance with these is essential.
- Treatments will be spaced according to your recovery.
- It is important that you continue with treatment until your pain is completely resolved – it does not cost extra for any additional treatments that you require.
- Recovery is not always linear – you may have setbacks along the way. It is important that you discuss this with your doctor.
For a complete list of our fees click here.