Shockwave Therapy Cheltenham
Skelian Chiropractic Clinic in Cheltenham is now offering shockwave therapy. Shockwave therapy is an evidence-based approach for treating tendinopathies. A tendinopathy is when a tendon (a muscle attachment to bone) becomes damaged and inflamed. This can lead to pain, swelling and can affect your ability to exercise or simply perform a movement. This is thought to occur when a tendon is over-used.
Shockwave can treat:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendonitis
- Shoulder pain – e.g. calcific tendonitis
- Patella tendonitis – Runners’ Knee
- Medial and lateral epicondylitis – Tennis and Golfer’s elbow
- Trochanteric bursitis – Lateral (outside) hip pain
Shockwave treatment works by sending pulses through the tendon. The impulses applied to a tendon creating a positive inflammatory response. The inflammation response helps the body to naturally increase blood flow to the affected area. This is to help normalise the injured tissue metabolism.
The impulses from the shockwave machine vary depending on the case and the problem. There can be a small amount of discomfort from the pulses. Usually, the intensity of the pulses will increase over the course of treatment. When receiving shockwave treatment, you typically need a course of care. Most cases last somewhere between 3-6 treatment sessions. Treatment is usually based on weekly intervals. Shockwave treatment itself lasts around 5-10 minutes. Chronic (long term problem) can take longer to respond to treatment. In some cases follow up treatments are needed once the initial course of care has finished.
Video showing shockwave therapy for Achilies tendonitis
How safe is shockwave therapy?
In short, it is very safe. In “technical talk” the maximum energy delivered by the ‘evoblue’swiss dolorcalst handpiece is 0.18 EFDmax. At this energy level, there is not enough power to induce significant physical tissue damage. There have been only 3 reports in the literature regarding Achilles tendon rupture following shockwave therapy. However, this is most likely due to significant pain relief leading to increased loading before the tendon has been fully strengthened. NICE guidelines state they have no safety concerns regarding shockwave therapy use in the management of Achilles tendinopathy.
How does shockwave therapy differ from ultrasound therapy?
Ultrasound waves are described as oscillating and therefore have very different pressure profiles to that of shockwaves. Shockwaves generate much higher pressures, and as a result, can exert a physical effect on the medium through which it travels. This means shockwaves are highly effective at transferring energy from one point to another.
Shockwave and exercise
Shockwave therapy is proven to be even more effective when combining the therapy with corrective exercises. As a general rule, an exercise based rehab programme should be started as soon as the patient is capable. It is recommended that patients have a rest from activity for 24 hours just after the treatment. Other treatments such as acupuncture and electrotherapy are not recommended or necessary as shockwave therapy pain relieving effects could inhibit shockwave therapy mechanisms of action.
Some points to be aware of when considering shockwave therapy
- If you have a clotting disorder or are taking anti-coagulant medication: excessive bruising can occur
- If you have had a recent steroid injection: expert opinion is to leave an upper limb tendon 6 weeks and a lower limb tendon 8 weeks prior to shockwave treatment.
- If you have a joint replacement(s): loosening of implants has not been demonstrated in the evidence. However, the practitioner applying shockwave therapy should take care not to directly target implanted materials.
- If you are taking NSAIDs, anti-inflammatory medication is thought to reduce the effects of shockwave therapy. Your shockwave practitioner should speak to you about this before starting treatment.
- The “full effects” of shockwave therapy are typically not seen until 12 weeks after the first treatment session.
If you are interested in shockwave treatment please call 01242 254000 Skelian Chiropractic Clinic to book a consultation. Alternately if you would like to speak to our shockwave specialist at Skelian please call 01242 254000.