ESWT, also known as Shock Wave Therapy, or Radial Shock Wave Therapy, provides treatments to patients suffering from a range of chronic conditions. A shockwave is an intense, but very short sound energy wave (there are NO electric impulses delivered to your body, only sound waves). The word “Extra-corporeal” means “outside the body” and refers to the fact that the shockwaves are generated outside the body.
SWT is often used to treat chronic conditions that have responded poorly to other forms of treatment, including, but not limited to:
• Tennis Elbow
• Heel Spurs
• Achilles Tendinopathy
• Plantar Fasciitis
• Jumper’s Knee
• Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome
• Hamstrings Tendonitis
• Stress Fractures
• Calcific Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
• Trigger Point Therapy
• Neck, Shoulder, Back & Hip Pain
• Scar Tissue Treatment
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the latest condition for which SWT has gained some evidence of effectiveness.
Treatment involves placing the head of the SWT handle onto the affected area using an ultrasound gel. The shockwaves are generated within the handle and delivered directly to your skin, where they can penetrate deeper to the affected tissues. Typically, about 2500 ‘shocks’ are delivered. The intensity of the shockwaves can be altered depending on how much you can tolerate. Treatment usually lasts about 3-4 minutes.
SWT is thought to work by stimulating new healing and blood vessel formation, as well as stimulating nerves and reducing pain messages getting to the brain.
A typical protocol is to perform SWT 3 (sometimes up to 5) times, with between 3 and 7 days between treatments. It takes several days for injuries to begin to heal, and many patients see an improvement before the end of the second week. Depending upon your diagnosis, the healing process may take several weeks or even months to be completed, but pain relief often precedes the completion of the healing process. The full effects are felt typically about 6 weeks after the final treatment.
While the equipment used is highly specialised, we have endeavored to make this therapy as accessible as possible. As such, there is only a small increase to the standard consultation fee for the use of this therapy (about $14-16 extra). If you have ‘extras’ covering chiropractic on your private health insurance, you can often claim for a SWT consultation and receive a rebate (check with your insurer).
We are happy to discuss with you over the phone whether you are a potential candidate for this therapy. We usually combine this therapy with other treatments (such as rehabilitative exercises, chiropractic techniques etc.) in the same consultation, to give you the best chance at recovery.