Acoustic shockwave therapy

What is ESWT?

Acoustic or extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) converts pulsed acoustic waves into shockwaves outside of the body to treat common, painful conditions such as arthritis, tendinosis and bursitis. ESWT was first used to treat kidney stones, but has been proven useful in treating many ailments since it was first used 25 years ago. Modifying the intensity of the energy allows for the treatment of a wide range of conditions, from kidney stones through lithiotripsy (mechanically breaking them down) to erectile dysfunction

Everyday wear and tear, ageing and inflammation can make it harder for our joints and tendons to heal. ESWT can be used in the treatment of:

  • Tendinosis (for example, of the hamstring or shoulder)
  • Arthritis
  • Shoulder bursitis
  • Patellar tendonitis
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Plantar fasciitis (with or without heel spur)
  • Non-union fractures
  • Stress fractures
  • Trigger points (also known as "muscle knots")
  • Meniscal injuries

In addition to treating injuries, ESWT can be effective in keeping well-used joints intact. For instance, if you are or have been an elite athlete, hold a physically demanding job, or generally put a lot of strain on your body, then it's worthwhile to give your joints a few shockwave treatments each year.

What does it do?

ESWT directs precise shockwaves to the source of your pain. These shockwaves produce an analgesic, anti-inflammatory effect; promote the formation of new blood vessels and blood flow; and increase growth factors, which speed up the recovery time and help regenerate tissue. 

Angiographs showing the changes in patients treated with shockwave therapy (SW). In particular note the changes in blood vessel formation.

Angiographs showing the changes in patients treated with shockwave therapy (SW). In particular note the changes in blood vessel formation.

 

Treatment regime

The actual procedure involves holding the machine's applicator against your skin. It generates shockwaves directly to the source of your pain, providing relief in up to 85% of patients. Generally 2 treatments are needed over a 2-3 week period.

 

Why you should choose ESWT

✔ A safe and non-invasive alternative to surgery
✔ Virtually no side-effects and no downtime
✔ Rapidly effective
✔ Painless treatment
✔ Not just a band-aid treatment, it heals