Stimulating the body’s healing processes with soundwaves.
What is Shockwave Therapy?
Extracorporeal Radial Shockwave, also known as Shockwave Therapy uses a machine to deliver high-frequency sound waves to injured tissues in order to stimulate healing.
The Shockwave machine uses compressed air, to propel a small bullet inside the applicator device, towards the end that is in contact with the skin.
The impact of the bullet creates mechanical energy in the form of sound waves that travel through the skin to the injured tissue.
How does Shockwave work?
The energy created by the Shockwave machine travels through the tissues underneath the applicator and creates microtrauma at the cellular level, signalling the body to initiate the process of tissue regeneration.
It is essentially trying to ‘kickstart’ a fresh healing process where the body may have slowed or stopped the initial healing process. (eg. in chronic inflammation or tendinopathies).
What common conditions can Shockwave treat?
All Strive Physiotherapists are trained in the use of Shockwave therapy. The following are conditions where Shockwave therapy is typically used:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Patellar tendinitis
- Tennis elbow
- Calcific tendinopathy
Plus, many more. Ask your Strive Physiotherapist if Shockwave Therapy can help you!
What can I expect during and after my treatment?
During your Shockwave treatment you will likely experience some localized discomfort in the area being treated. This is expected as we are trying to create a stimulus for healing in the body.
Following the Shockwave session, the area will likely be tender and possibly feel a bit more aggravated than prior to the treatment for a few hours. This is the healing process at work!
Your Strive Physiotherapist will recommend strategies to help you manage this typical post treatment soreness and will recommend that you take it easy on the area for the rest of the day.
The post-treatment tenderness is typically gone the day following your treatment, and often you start to feel better within 1-2 days of your first session.
How many sessions will I need for Shockwave? What is the cost?
At Strive, there is NO additional cost to using Shockwave therapy. When it is determined to be appropriate, it is an integrated, value added service that is part of your Physiotherapy management plan.
A typical Shockwave treatment protocol is 4-6sessions with no more than a week between each.
Most people will start to notice the benefit after 1-2 sessions but sometimes it can take a few more sessions to determine whether your injury is responding favourably.
You and your Strive Physiotherapist will monitor your symptoms, and determine if Shockwave is working for you and determine the right number of doses for you.
If after 3-4 sessions, you are experiencing no beneficial effects, the trial of Shockwave will be stopped. It means that while Shockwave therapy was not for you, there are still many other treatment options to pursue to get you back to your normal!
If I do Shockwave do I still need to pursue other treatment options?
YES! Shockwave is just one piece of a comprehensive treatment program.
Although Shockwave is a useful tool in helping to kickstart the healing process in your painful tissues, it is not our only or best option. If we don’t address the cause of the dysfunction, your pain may come back. Strive Physiotherapists look for and treat the underlying causes, not just the painful tissues.
In addition to Shockwave, your comprehensive Physiotherapy management plan will also include the following:
Education on activity adaptation, modification and proper exercise technique.
A tailored exercise program to strengthen the tissue at fault and fix any underlying muscle imbalances contributing to your symptoms.
Various hands on, manual therapy techniques such as massage, mobilizations/manipulation, acupuncture/dry needling, taping and other modalities such as TENS, ultrasound and muscle stimulation.
Not sure if Shockwave is an option to help with your pain?
You can book a free 10-minute phone consultation with any of our Physiotherapists to find out if acupuncture or dry needling would be helpful for you.
Please give us a call at 416-486-4776 or book a 10 min As a Physio Complementary Q&A appointment online.
Strive to move and feel better.