Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is a new treatment for tendon pain; it has also been proved to be effective in the treatment of a range of tendon problems including plantarfacsiitis, ankle, shoulder, knee and elbow pain.
ECSWT is non-invasive form of treatment with strong research evidence behind it, including large clinical trials from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Exellence)
ECSWT works in two ways physiologically to reduce persistent tendon pain.
- The shockwaves desensitize nerve endings, which leads to a reduction in pain levels.
- The second and the most important effect is that the shockwaves cause controlled micro-trauma (microscopic damage) to the pathological tissues. This results in the activation of the structures natural healing response. This can often lead to change in tendon / soft tissue structure and a resolution of the problem.
ECSWT is more effective when integrated with a treatment and rehabilitation regime.
It is also important to address any under lying biomechanical issues (for example posture, alignment, gait, running style, muscle length and strength issues).
These anomalies may well have lead to tissue overload / failure and the resultant tendon or soft tissue problem. An exercise strategy will be issued to you by the treating clinician at the initial assessment / treatment session.
Numerous research studies have identified that ECSWT is very effective for treating tendon problems when other forms of treatment have failed.
It as also been shown that ESWT, if used early within the rehabilitation / treatment process reducing the recovery time.
The physiotherapist will discuss your specific problem with you and what is the best course of treatment and if your problem is likely to benefit from ECSWT.
You can also ring our clinic and a Physiotherapist can have an informal chat with you to see if your problem is likely to benefit from ECSWT.
Research demonstrates best outcomes with three treatment sessions within 17 day period. Normally patients will book in for 3 consecutive weekly treatments.
ECSWT is a non-invasive and safe treatment but can be uncomfortable due to its main mechanism of action causing controlled micro-trauma to provide a window of opportunity for your body to heal.
Patients often report an immediately dramatic reduction in pain, this affect doesn’t last very long but the true lasting benefit is often reported to be around 8-10 weeks after the last treatment.
The ECSWT machine is very large and extremely expensive so although Elite Physical Medicine has three clinics this piece of equipment is based and conducted in our Aylesbury clinic.
If you are already under going treatment please discuss this treatment option with your therapist.
If you are a new patient, we look forward to seeing you soon. Please ring our Aylesbury clinic on 01296 437717 to discuss this treatment options with one of our team.