ESWT, also known as Shockwave Therapy, or Radial Shockwave Therapy, provides treatments to patients suffering from a range of chronic conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinopathy that are notoriously difficult to resolve.
Shockwave Therapy uses high energy acoustic pulses to treat a range of joint, tendon and muscle conditions at the exact site of pain. Shockwave Therapy promotes regeneration and assists with the healing processes in bones, tendons and other soft tissue. It has been shown to assist with a range of conditions that are often hard to treat with other methods. Conditions that can benefit from Shockwave Therapy include:
- Elbow Pain: Such as Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), golfer’s elbow, tendonitis and repetitive strains
- Shoulder Pain: “frozen shoulder”, tendonitis such as supraspinatus or biceps tendonitis, Calcific tendonitis of the shoulder.
- Knee Pain: Osteoarthritis, torn meniscus, patellar tendinopathy, shin splints
- Ankle and Foot Pain: Plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, chronic instability of the ankle /foot, Achilles tendinopathy
- Hip pain: trochanteric bursitis, Gluteal tendinopathy
- Myofascial pain—Trigger points
- Chronic ligament tear/ sprains
- Tendonitis of the hand / thumb
- Proximal hamstring tendinopathy
- Other forms of insertional tendinopathy
Are there contraindications for Shock Wave Therapy?
- There are a few occasions when shockwave should not be used:
- Application over open growth plates – not suitable for under 18 years.
- Over metal pins or plates
- Malignant tumours
- Nerve or circulation disorders
- If the patient is taking anticoagulan
WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE?
There are a number of trials, including randomized controlled trials, which support the use of Shockwave Therapy:
- Rompe et al 2008, Eccentric Loading Compared with Shockwave treatment for Chronic Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy, Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (America) 2008; 90: 52-61
- Han et al 2009, Effect of Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy on Cultured Tenocytes, Foot and Ankle International, 30: 93-98
- Furia et al 2007, Extracorporeal Shockwave therapy in the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy, Current Opinion in Orthopaedics 2007; 18: 101- 111
- Rompe, JD; Radial Shockwave Therapy- Where do we stand today?; Translation from Medical Special, Apr 2006