Understand More About Shockwave Therapy in Kent
Shockwave therapy also called Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) has been in practice for over four decades. However, it is only in the last two decades that shockwave therapy has been actively incorporated into sports therapy for treating musculoskeletal disorders. Several physiotherapy clinics in Kent are now seen to use this therapy for treating several disorders.
Shockwave therapy works by using high-frequency sound waves to reduce pain and help in the healing process. These high energy sound waves are generated when high energy explosion is done underwater and water is made to evaporate as a result. Shockwave therapy has been seen to help in the release of growth factors such as eNOS or Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase, PCNA or Proliferating Cell Antinuclear Antigen, and VEGF or Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor. This further helps in the regeneration of tissues in bones and tendons thus hastening the healing process in ortho-related injuries or conditions.
Most athletes and their sports physiotherapists prefer using this tool for healing problems such as Achilles, Tendonitis, etc because this is a non-invasive procedure and therefore, does not require any post-operative recovery period. This enables the sportsperson to keep up with his training for the sports even with ongoing healing procedures.
Uses of Shock Wave Therapy
Some of the common injuries or conditions where Shockwave Therapy is used are:
Achilles Tendinopathy, Tennis Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow, Hamstring Tendinopathy, Plantar Fasciopathy, Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome, Patella Tendinopathy, bone stress injury, rotator cuff tendinopathy, medial tibial stress syndrome, and other tendinopathies, etc.
Shockwave therapy is seen to be especially beneficial in treating chronic tendinopathies where other treatments have not been able to bring about much improvement. In chronic tendinopathy, the patient sees pathological changes to the tendon often characterized by localized pain.
Benefits of Shockwave Therapy
In most cases, shockwave therapy is used when a patient is seen not responding to other treatments such as ice, pain relief, physio massage, orthotics or insoles, bracing, therapeutic exercise, rest, etc. When these treatments fail to bring relief to the injured, the next line of treatment involves either using ESWT or other surgical procedures. The reason most athletes and sports physiotherapists in Kent prefer to use Shockwave Therapy as the second line of treatment is because of the non-invasive capacity of the treatment. Most athletes do not want to let go of an ongoing season. Therefore, a simple non-invasive procedure with minimum recuperation time to bring them relief becomes their first choice.
How is the treatment given?
In most cases, physiotherapists advise three sittings of shockwave therapy – one each month. Usually, this is enough to improve the symptoms of the patient. At other times, however, if the patient shows a slower recovery, the number of sessions might be increased. Sometimes, though, if the patient does not show any improvement even after two sessions, this therapy is terminated and physiotherapists might ask the patient to consider the more invasive form of treatment such as operative procedures.
How safe is it to take shockwave therapy?
As also mentioned above, shockwave therapy is a non-invasive therapy. Therefore, it is considered safe and reliable. Unlike in post-operative procedures, there are no complications after this treatment. Further, the recuperation time is minimal. Athletes or patients undergoing this procedure are usually advised to rest for 24 to 48 hours before undertaking heavy exercises or training. Most physiotherapists in Kent assess the kind of frequency that should be used for the patient. The frequency used, therefore, depends on the comfort level of the patient. Therefore, there is comparatively very little pain during the procedure.
Research shows that most patients given shockwave therapy notice immediate reduction or improvement of the ongoing symptoms. This therapy is especially beneficial when used in conjunction with other rehabilitation therapies.
Who Should not take shockwave therapy?
While Shockwave therapy is safe for most people, in certain conditions, it is not advised to take this therapy as your line of treatment. Some of such contraindications are:
- If you are pregnant.
- If you are on blood-thinning medications.
- If you are undergoing cancer treatment.
- If you have a cardiac pacemaker.
- If you have a blood clotting disorder.
- If you have taken a corticosteroid injection in the last 3 months.
Side-effects of Shockwave Therapy
Shockwave therapy is considered to be an extremely safe procedure. However, after the procedure, the patient might suffer from swelling, mild pain, tingling sensation, mild bruising, or numbness in the area treated with shockwave therapy. However, one must realize that the recovery time is extremely minimal especially if you compare it with more invasive forms of treatments like operations, etc.