What is Shockwave therapy?

Radial Shockwave Therapy is a modern and effective non-invasive treatment for a wide range of common tendon problems. At The Physio Clinic Bristol, we have been using it for many years with good effect to treat chronic and long-standing conditions. This includes conditions such as tennis elbow, Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis, which have not responded to other modes of treatment.

Providing relief and advanced recovery in situations where the healing process has stalled or failed to respond to standard therapeutic intervention, Shockwave is able to provide relief and healing even in chronic cases where the body has previously demonstrated an unwillingness or inability to do so by itself.

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment device that produces an acoustic wave which carries high energy through the body to the painful tissue, e.g tendons. This energy promotes neovascularisation (the formation of new blood vessels) and tissue regeneration to the painful/injured tendon along with your own natural healing and recovery processes.

Shockwave can treat a number of musculoskeletal conditions but is mainly used for tendon problems including:

  • Patella Tendonopathy
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Calcific Tendonitis of the Shoulder
  • Tennis and Golfers Elbow
  • Achilles Tendonopathy
  • Trochanteric Bursitis of the hips

It has also been used to treat muscle trigger points and other conditions with more and more research being carried out all the time.

Current research reports success rates between 65 and 91% in reducing patients’ pain and symptoms.  These results are expected after approximately 12-16 weeks after a course of 3-5 shockwave sessions plus further exercise management.  Shockwave treatment is supported by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) the Government’s Health watchdog and our own internal audit, which also mirrors the success rate in the medical evidence.

The treatment itself feels like a tapping sensation over the tendon being treated.

There is usually some discomfort, but most people can tolerate the discomfort during the treatment.  We are able to control the settings and treatment should be the maximum that you can tolerate so there is no need to worry. There are very few adverse side effects unlike injections or surgery, making shockwave therapy a very compelling therapeutic modality for the treatment of chronic tendon problems.

We advise, after treatment that you refrain from intense activities that stress the treated area for the next 48 hours.

In addition to the actual shockwave treatment, you may also require some additional input such as massage to muscles around the area, strapping, plus some exercises to do at home.

As with any treatment, individual responses will vary according to severity and overall management of your condition. The normal response to shockwave is exceptionally good within a few weeks, however it may take several months before maximum effect is achieved. If after 3-4 months you do not experience a change in your symptoms, then you may be referred onwards to a surgeon depending on your clinical presentation.  Sadly the treatment isn’t a success for everyone.

Shockwave treatment incurs an additional fee of £25 per session on top of the normal physiotherapy appointment charge.

Treatment charge prices vary depending on the length of your treatment time.  In general one area can be treated in 30 minutes however if you have bilateral problems (affecting both sides) a longer 45 minute session may be required to ensure we are able to complete the treatment fully.  Please check our current standard treatment fees and add £25 for each shockwave treatment.

NB most treatments require approximately 4 sessions of shockwave therapy.

Please call us if you are considering Shockwave Treatment on 01454 54 00 66, so we can advise on the treatment price and care plan.

What is Tendon Tendinopathy & why does Shockwave help?

Tendinopathies occur when a tissue remains in a persistent state of disrepair. This happens when there is a decrease in the efficiency of the body’s ability to heal, or when the demand on the tissue is too high with not enough time for recovery. The longer this state of disrepair continues the lower the tolerance of the tissue to withstand the stresses put upon it and the more likely it is to remain in a state of disrepair. In order to get the body to re-stimulate the healing process, we need to introduce new stress to the tissue.
This is done with the use of the Shockwave machine. Shockwave Therapy is designed to put the tissue in a fresh state of healing, when this is used appropriately alongside a personalised rehab program it gives the tissue the best chance at regenerating and returning to a functional state.