Shockwave therapy is a treatment option available at Watsonia Podiatry to assist with healing. We can use it to treat a variety of conditions such as:
- Plantar fasciitis.
- Heel spurs.
- Ankle sprains.
- Knee pain.
- Shin splints.
- Tibialis posterior tendon dysfunction.
- Achilles tendinopathy.
What Is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy involves the application of acoustic waveforms into the affected tissues in order to create a healing response. It can be used for acute and chronic conditions to assist with pain relief and to speed up the healing process. It stimulates the regeneration and repair of the injured structures.
There are many positive effects of shockwave therapy including:
- ‘Re-booting’ the healing process.
- The initial stages of injury are known as the acute phase and it then moves into the chronic phase, where the injury is not fully healed. If an injury moves into the chronic phase and isn’t managed properly, the healing process can remain stagnant and the pain can become quite debilitating. Shockwave therapy helps to activate the cells in the blood that can produce chemicals to help speed up the healing process.
- Collagen production.
- Collagen is a type of protein found in the body that is present in bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles and skin. It helps to hold the structures together and maintain structural integrity. If a structure is injured, the collagen can reduce in strength and become damaged. Shockwave therapy can assist by stimulating the production of collagen to allow the structure to increase in strength and integrity.
- Increase in blood flow and the formation of new blood vessels.
- Healthy and adequate blood flow is imperative to the healing process. Shockwave therapy is able to help stimulate the production of new small blood vessels that can help with healing.
- Release tension, including trigger points.
- Trigger points are known colloquially as ‘knots’ in the muscle. They can become quite painful and are often found in structures nearby or surrounding the injured structure. Shockwave therapy works to reduce the tension in these areas and reduce the size of the trigger points.
- Reducing the substance responsible for pain, known as ‘substance P’.
- This substance is a neuropeptide that is present in large amounts in chronic injuries. Shockwave therapy can help to disperse ‘substance P’ and therefore reduce pain
Is Shockwave Therapy Painful?
When undertaking shockwave therapy, we aim for your level of pain to be at about 6-7/10. This means that it will be uncomfortable, however, this is needed in order to trigger a response. We may need to increase the intensity of your shockwave therapy as you become desensitised to it.
What Is The Treatment Plan?
We will perform shockwave therapy every week for approximately 6 weeks. Most conditions require between 6-10 sessions, however, this is largely dependent on the type of injury and how long it has been present. Injuries that have been present for a significant amount of time may take longer to heal. This will be re-evaluated at each session.
What Can I Expect After A Shockwave Therapy Session?
An aim of shockwave therapy is to achieve ‘analgesia’, which means pain relief. Most patients will walk out of the consultation with significantly less pain than at the start of the session.
Typically, you will begin to experience discomfort a few hours after the treatment, which may last for the next 24-48 hours. This is due to the fact that we have essentially created an ‘acute’ injury and stimulated the healing process. You can manage this pain using ice or anti-inflammatories if it is debilitating. We recommend that you do not participate in physical activity for 24 hours after treatment to allow the structures to settle.
If you have any further questions, give us a call on 9432 3689.