What is Shockwave Therapy and how does it work?
Shockwave Therapy uses high pressured acoustic shockwaves that travel through the skin to stimulate tissue repair and breakdown targeted tissue.
This is often important in rehabilitation of chronic musculoskeletal injuries as the healing response is often diminished.
Ultimately, it initiates and restarts the body’s natural healing response.
Shockwave Therapy is thought to increase localized blood circulation, stimulate fibroblast and osteoblast production (building blocks of tendon, ligament and bone) and inhibit pain control mechanisms.
All in all, we produce a stimulation of good healing cells and a reduction in symptoms.
What injuries is Shockwave Therapy used on?
At Pivotal Podiatry we mainly use it on chronic ligament, tendon and bone injuries:
- Plantar Fasciopathy/ Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles Tendinopathy
- Insertion Achilles Tendinopathy
- Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome/ Shin Splints
How many sessions are required?
For most foot and ankle injuries 3 shockwave sessions are required, typically spaced 1 week apart.
This is the parameters that most of the good research is based upon and considered the ideal dosage.
Your podiatrist will discuss with you the most beneficial treatment plan based on your injury.
Particularly for stubborn and severely chronic injuries, additional sessions are sometimes required.
What does a Shockwave Therapy session involve?
Shockwave Therapy is a safe, non-invasive therapy.
A contact gel is applied to the area, then a hand-held probe is applied to the skin.
The probe delivers the acoustic waves in a controlled and focused manner for typically 5-10 minutes per injured area.
A shockwave session should be uncomfortable, without being unbearable, to ensure we are getting a good healing response.
What will I experience after my shockwave session?
Most patients experience a small pain desensitisation and a greater level of function immediately after the procedure.
This is usually temporary and real results are seen after a few days when the injuries begin to heal.
Depending on your injury, healing can take weeks to months, however we hope to speed up the process and reduce your pain earlier in your rehabilitation.
What other treatments work in conjunction with Shockwave Therapy?
Pivotal Podiatry quite often use Shockwave as a pre-cursor or in conjunction with Strength and Exercise Therapy due to its stimulatory and pain reduction properties.
Ultimately, we are able to get greater benefit from our exercises when used in conjunction with shockwave therapy.
Other soft tissue therapies such as massage and dry needling are regularly used to ensure we are providing an effect to the entire muscle and tendon unit.
What does the medical research say about Shockwave Therapy?
Our Machine is a Swiss Dolorclast Radial Shockwave Machine and is considered the top of the range.
It is FDA and TGA approved and is what a majority of the research is conducted using.
For Midportion Achilles Tendinopathy, at 4-month follow up, eccentric loading (strengthening) alone was less effective when compared with a combination of eccentric loading and repetitive low-energy shockwave treatment. (Rompe et al, 2009)
Shockwave Therapy significantly improves pain, function and quality of life compared with placebo in patients with recalcitrant plantar fasciitis (Gerdesmeyer et al, 2008)
How much does a Shockwave Therapy session cost?
Shockwave Therapy incurs a charge of $40 per session in addition to your initial or standard consultation. Private Health Rebates are applicable to your consult but not the additional charge of Shockwave Therapy.