What are shock waves ?
Shockwave therapy involves electrostimulation. Shock waves are created by tiny electrical discharges. There are two types of shock waves: extracorporeal and radial.
Radial shock waves are currently used is sports medicine due to their ease of use :
- Compact, silent appliance
- Ease of application with mobile tip
- No need for an anesthetic
- Good patient compliance
What is shockwave therapy ?
Shockwave therapy involves stimulating the damaged tendon to promote healing and can be used to treat tendon conditions and chronic fibrotic lesions through:
- Mechanical action
- Local analgesic and anti-inflammatory action
What conditions can be treated using shock waves ?
The following conditions can generally be treated using shock waves :
- Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
- Calcific shoulder tendinopathies
- Golfer’s elbow or medial epicondylitis
- Trochanteric bursitis
- Patellar tendinopathy
- Plantar fasciitis
- Chronic enthesitis
- Painful Trigger Points
What does a session involve ?
The high-energy ultrasound shock waves act directly on the deeper underlying tissues (you don’t feel the vibrations on your skin).
A standard session consists in :
- Locating the area to be treated using palpation
- Applying a transmission gel
- 2000 to 3000 shocks at 2.5 bars.
- No need for an anesthetic.
Generally, 4 to 6 sessions of 5 to 10 minutes each are carried out at weekly intervals.
The symptoms gradually improve but total healing is only observed about 6 weeks after the final session.
What happens afterwards ?
It is often possible to continue sports activities during the treatment as long as you respect the pain and don’t put too much strain on the area being treated.
You will see a rapid improvement in your quality of life and a reduction in pain while maintaining moderate physical activity below the pain threshold.
This therapy is an interesting alternative to surgery and corticosteroid infiltrations for treating tendinopathies.