Shockwave Therapy

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a fast, clinically proven treatment which uses the application of high energy impulses that are delivered directly over an injured area to restore and enhance the bodies healing process. It is a non-invasive, alternative treatment to cortisone injections or even surgery for the management of pain caused by chronic (long term) conditions such as tendinopathies and plantar fasciitis.

How does it work?
Shockwave therapy produces an inflammatory response. This increases blood flow and metabolic activity, creating new blood vessels via stem cell activation helping stimulate and increase tissue repair at the site of pain. The shockwaves also break down scar tissue and calcifications as well as activates nerve fibres in the tissue as well as the spinal cord providing an instant pain relief.

My pain has been there for a long time, can shockwave therapy help me?
Yes, shockwave therapy is clinically proven to be most effective on chronic conditions, meaning shockwave is perfect for treating pain or injury that has been there for a long time (over 3 months). In fact studies have shown a 84% success rate for numerous chronic conditions after just 3 treatments.

What conditions can we treat?
As podiatrists, we can treat conditions from the hip downwards, conditions we see regularly are:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Heel Spurs
  • Osgood-Schlatter Disease
  • Morton's Neuroma
  • Calf Pain/Tightness
  • Patella Tendinitis
  • Shin Splints

  • Is this painful?
    Shockwave may feel a momentarily uncomfortable but this quickly subsides and treatment time lasts just a few minutes. Treatment settings can be easily adapted to meet all pain thresholds. A mild ache may occur for up to 24 hours following treatment so oral analgesic pain relief such as paracetamol are fine to use. The use of anti-inflammatory medication such as ibruprofen should be avoided due to their counterproductive effect against shock wave.

    Will I be suitable for shockwave therapy?
    Shockwave therapy can be carried out on most people. However cannot be used on those who:

  • Have pre-ruptured tendons
  • Have been treated with local cortisone injections within the last six weeks
  • Have blood-clotting disorders (including local thrombosis)
  • Are under the age of 18 (except for the treatment of Osgood-Schlatter disease)
  • are being treated with oral anticoagulants
  • Have local tumors or local bacterial and/or viral infections
  • Are pregnant

    How many sessions will I need?
    Shockwave protocol usually includes a total of 3 to 5 sessions, planned at a rate of 1 to 2 sessions per week with an interval of a minimum of 72 hours between them. Many patients report feeling instant relief after their first treatment! The effects of the treatments are cumulative, so you should expect to see improvements as you proceed through the treatment plan. Once you begin treatment, it is important to complete the course of treatment or symptoms are likely to reoccur.

    For example: The treatment of Plantar fasciitis, shockwave boasts an 84% success rate after just 3 sessions.

    What to expect on the day
    Your initial appointment will include an assessment & treatment of your condition - The first 15 minutes of the appointment allows time to discuss your symptoms to make an assessment for the optimal treatment plan for you. When a diagnosis has been made, (for example; plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis) we can then commence shockwave treatment right away.

    Can I combine shockwave treatment with other treatments?
    Yes, In the case of chronic midportion Achilles tendinopathy, it has been shown that the combination of shockwave and eccentric loading resulted in statistically significantly better clinical outcome than eccentric loading alone.

    Equally, In the case of chronic plantar fasciitis, it has been shown that the combination of shockwave treatment combined with stretching exercises resulted in statistically significantly better clinical outcome than just stretching exercises alone.

    How much does it cost?
    Initial Assessment and treatment - £100 (40 mins)

    Follow up treatment - From £80 (30 mins)

    Can I exercise after my treatment?
    Strenuous activity should be avoided for a minimum of 48 hours after undergoing treatment. Walking and low impact exercise is absolutely fine.

    Key Points of Shockwave Therapy

    • High patient satisfaction rate with just 3 treatments

    • Fast acting

    • Quick treatment

    • None invasive

    • Safe