Shockwave Therapy What is it?
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment modality, which uses high-intensity sound waves to interact with the tissues in your body. Originally used in urology for the treatment of kidney stones, it has since been shown to be an effective non-surgical option in the musculoskeletal fields of orthopaedics, sports medicine, osteopathy, and physiotherapy. Shockwave therapy may be suggested as a treatment for both acute and chronic pain as well as tendon repairs.
Shockwave Therapy How does it work?
Our shockwave therapy machine is modern and used only by our highly qualified practitioners. The machine itself consists of a pneumatically powered handpiece that generates radial shockwaves, which are transmitted to the site of the injury through a conducting gel.
A treatment session generally consists of between 2000 and 3000 pulsed shockwaves being administered into the affected area, over a number of short sessions, usually taking no more than 15 minutes each.
After locating the precise area to be treated, your practitioner places a sufficient amount of gel over the area which is necessary to efficiently transfer the acoustic waves into your body's tissues. The sound-waves stimulate a number of positive responses in the body's tissues such as:
Blood flow is necessary for tissue repair. The administration of sound-waves causes capillary microruptures in the target tendon and bone. As a result, these microruptures cause a significant increase in the expression of tissue growth factors; arterioles are remodeled, stimulated to grow and new ones are formed. All of these processes support improved blood supply and oxygenation which facilitate tendon and bone healing.
A Reversal of Chronic Inflammation
When the inflammatory response in an area of tissue continues it can cause chronic pain and ongoing damage to healthy tissue. Shockwave therapy may increase the activity of Mast cells which are key components in the inflammatory response, and once activated in the tissue, are followed by the production of chemokines and cytokines. These pro-inflammatory compounds first enhance the inflammatory process and then help restore normal healing and the continuation of the regenerative process.
Stimulation of Collagen
Collagen is the main component of connective tissue and is thus required to enable the repair process of damaged tissue. Shockwave therapy accelerates procollagen synthesis forcing the newly created collagen fibers into longitudinal structures that form the basis of newly formed tendon fibers. With the newly formed tendon fibers being arranged in the correct longitudinal orientation, the resultant repaired tissue is denser, stiffer, and stronger.
Dissolution of Calcium Build-up
Calcium can build up as a result of tendon micro-tears or trauma. Shockwave therapy can break up these calcifications and facilitate the removal of them via the lymphatic system.
Acoustic waves generated by shockwave therapy lower the Substance P concentration and trigger pain relief. Substance P is a neurotransmitter involved in the perception of intense, persistent, and chronic pain.
A Reduction in Trigger Points and Mobility Restoration
Acoustic energy generated by shockwave therapy improves muscle metabolism and function.
Shockwave Therapy Can it help me?
Shockwave therapy works especially well when incorporated into a broader treatment plan. This may include continuing to see your osteopath and self-managing your condition with rehabilitation exercises to strengthen and reduce the risk of re-injury. Once a therapy session is completed, the body continues its natural healing process. Most of our patients report some discomfort throughout the first session and then go on to report some pain relief immediately after therapy. For other patients, significant pain relief can take up to 4-5 sessions.
What is shockwave therapy useful for?
Shockwave therapy assists in the treatment of a number of chronic muscular and tendon disorders such as:
In a recent study, eight different types of treatments for plantar fasciitis were investigated. Shockwave therapy ranked number one for the best outcome and was considered “optimal treatment” for plantar fasciitis. A further study showed the combination of shockwave therapy and a physiotherapy led stretching program delivered clinically superior outcomes for plantar fasciitis sufferers.
Calcifying Tendinopathy of the Shoulder
Clinical trials showed that shockwave therapy for calcifying tendinopathy of the shoulder produced good to excellent results in 87.9% of shoulders treated. Among the patients treated with shockwave, calcium deposits were completely eliminated in 21.2% and partially eliminated in 36.3%.
Low Back Pain
A randomised clinical trial concluded that shockwave therapy had a significant effect on the reduction of pain and the improvement of function compared to a physiotherapy program. It also found that shockwave when combined with core stability exercises resulted in significant improvements in the patient's posture.
Research has shown improvements in all measures of pain, function, and patient satisfaction following a course of shockwave treatment. All measures reported continued improvement at the 1, 3, and 12-month stages.
Why choose Total Balance Healthcare?
With a range of healthcare resources at our fingertips, Total Balance Healthcare gives you access to a complete range of treatment solutions to aid in your recovery. Shockwave therapy is just one part of the big picture, meaning we’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan that draws on a range of therapies as you require them.
How do I book an appointment?
To book an osteopathy appointment in Chelsea Heights, you can book online or you can call us on (03) 9773 8085.
If you’re a private health insurance holder, ask our reception team whether you’re eligible to receive a subsidised consultation price.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us! We are here to help 🙂