Shockwave Therapy

Radial Shockwave Therapy is a modern and effective non-invasive treatment for a wide range of common tendon problems.

Shockwave therapy has been utilised in Western Medicine since the 1980s where it was first introduced to treat kidney stones and other urological disorders. Over the last 20 years, the technology has improved dramatically. Shockwave therapy is now being used by physicians, orthopaedic surgeons and physiotherapists all around the world to treat musculoskeletal conditions.
Shockwave treats most sub-acute – chronic conditions of the musculoskeletal tissue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Shockwave is an acoustic wave which carries high energy to painful areas in musculoskeletal tissue. The energy values of shockwave are low enough to deliver gentle therapy, but high enough to promote physiological changes and trigger a healing response. The energy in the machine is created by transferring compressed air under large pressure into the applicator. The kinetic energy of the air is then pushed at high speed against the transmitter, generating high-energy-peak acoustic waves. Upon contact with the skin, these acoustic waves penetrate the tissue non-invasively and promote overall medical effects of accelerated tissue repair and cell growth, analgesia and mobility restoration.

An initial assessment is essential. Your M3 therapist will conduct a thorough examination to ensure your diagnosis is appropriate for Shockwave Treatment. Your M3 Practitioner will then start your five-step treatment plan.

  1. LOCATION OF THE AREA TO BE TREATED
    The area to be treated is located using palpation in order to deliver the therapy precisely
  2. GEL APPLICATION
    Sufficient amount of gel is applied to the area located in step 1. Use of gel is necessary to transfer the acoustic waves efficiently and smoothly
  3. THERAPY INITIATION
    The Shockwave applicator is slightly pushed against the area to be treated and the start button is pressed
  4. APPLICATION
    The shockwave applicator is then moved continuously across the painful tissue with a painting or swivelling technique. This application typically takes about five minutes to deliver a single treatment. Most people describe the pressure sensation of the application as uncomfortable rather than painful and is well tolerated amongst most patients
  5. REPEAT TREATMENT
    This process is repeated between three and five times with three to seven days between each treatment. Some patients notice an immediate improvement in their pain; however, the best results occur 12 weeks after the initial treatment. It is recommended that patients do rest from physical activity that involves the treated area for 48 hours following each treatment.

Most patients with chronic pain problems have been through various unsuccessful types of treatments. Up to 80% of the same patients worldwide report that Shockwave therapy has helped them eliminate their problem.

There may be a slight feeling of discomfort during the treatment, depending on the level of pain the patient is already experiencing in the area. However, since the treatment lasts only about five minutes, most patients are able to tolerate this discomfort. Additionally, the intensity of the treatment can be adjusted throughout the session.

The number of treatments varies depending on the indication and tissue response. The effect of the treatment is cumulative, so you will typically need between three to five treatments.

Most indications require 3 to 5 treatments which are done 3 to 7 days apart, depending on the patient’s tolerance and their tissue response

Most patients will experience an immediate pain relief following the treatment. However, within 2 to 4 hours after the treatment, they may experience some soreness in the treated area. This soreness has been reported as tolerable and not limiting.

It is recommended that patients refrain from physical activity, especially one that would involve the treated region, for about 48 hours following each treatment session.

There are very few adverse effects unlike injections or surgery, making shockwave therapy a very compelling therapeutic modality for the treatment of chronic tendon problems.

There is usually some discomfort, but most people can tolerate it during the treatment and there is no need to worry.

Occasionally patients may experience mild side effects after a treatment with radial pressure wave therapy, the majority will appear within 1-2 days of treatment.

Common side effects include:

  • Reddening
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Haematoma (bruising)
  • Petechia (red spots) NB. Speak to your healthcare professional before taking any pain relief.
  • Haemophilia or other coagulation disorders
  • Acute inflammation
  • Disturbed sensory and nervous function, eg. diabetes
  • Corticosteroid injections – wait minimum of 6 weeks after local injections
  • Prostheses and impants
  • Pregnancy in the area of treatment
  • Malignancy in the area of treatment Your healthcare professional will be able to advise you further.