What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT), is a clinically proven and highly effective treatment for chronic soft tissue injuries and certain bone conditions.

An extracorporeal shockwave is defined as a non-invasive, non-electrical high energy sound wave that passes through the body via a hand-held probe. The shock waves produce a rapid increase in blood circulation to the target area and will break down fibrous scar tissue which builds up over time, especially with chronic conditions.

The break-down of scar tissue is the key to why shock wave therapy is so effective. Unlike normal elasticated tissue, scar tissue is non-elastic and will prevent normal movement and function, thereby weakening the unaffected tissue surrounding it, often causing further damage and pain. By increasing circulation and breaking down scar tissue, shockwave therapy will stimulate cell regeneration and promote normal healing and rapid reduction of pain. The normal function can then be restored.

What does Shockwave Therapy treat?

Shockwave therapy can be effective on a wide range of soft tissue and bony conditions. Here are some examples of conditions where shock wave has effectively treated and restored normal function:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Shoulder pain, e.g. calcific lesions of the rotator cuff and bony spurs
  • Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
  • Patellar tendinopathy (jumper’s knee)
  • Tibial stress syndrome (shin pain)
  • Hip pain
  • Heel pain, heel spurs


How successful is Shockwave Therapy?

After only 3 or 4 treatments with shockwave therapy, over 80% of clients report a reduction of pain and regaining of normal function.

Research is steadily growing for this cutting-edge technology, and the latest reports are confirming shockwave therapy is an effective treatment of soft tissue injuries, pain and certain bony conditions like heel spurs, the evidence shows that the most effective treatment is a combination of shockwave and loaded exercise therapy, so we are keen to be able to offer this ultimate treatment here in the clinic.

When investing in advanced technology like shockwave therapy, it is important to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the equipment, as well as having the backing of evidenced-based research. The EMS Medical Swiss DolorClast Master Shockwave System is well known for being one of the leading products and DolorClast are leaders in the field of shockwave therapy. Our decision to invest in the Swiss DolorClast Master therefore was an easy one to make.


Costs for treatment

It often takes 3 treatments to resolve an issue, patients are recommended to book 3 consecutive weekly sessions to gain the full effect of Shockwave Therapy:

Block of 3 weekly appts £210
Individual sessions £70

What can I expect during my consultation?

At your first visit, you will meet our experienced Specialist Physiotherapist, who will discuss your symptoms and condition and decide whether Shockwave therapy is appropriate and help you to plan your treatment programme. This would be charged at our normal assessment fee of £65.

If Shockwave therapy is appropriate you will be given pre treatment information and your sessions will be booked in. Shockwave treatment typically lasts for 10-15 minutes. It is recommended that any relevant hands-on manual therapy and exercise therapy is done prior to a Shockwave session but should run in conjunction with your Shockwave therapy.

Should your Physiotherapist feel shockwave is not appropriate for your condition, this will be explained and a normal consultation fee will be made and alternative treatment will be recommended

There are no known side effects of shockwave therapy. Most patients experience a reduction in their pain. Occasionally, a mild diffuse pain can be experienced within a few hours of treatment and which may last 24 hours.


Are there contraindications for Shockwave Therapy?

There are a few occasions when shockwave should not be used:

  • Pregnancy or trying to conceive
  • Application over open growth plates – not suitable for under 18 years.
  • Over metal pins or plates
  • Malignant tumors
  • Nerve or circulation disorders
  • Infections
  • If the patient is taking anticoagulants

Click on this link for further information and FAQ’s: Patient information shockwave