Is shockwave therapy right for me?

What is shockwave therapy and how can it help your body heal? In this blog on shockwave therapy in Twickenham we’ll explore the answers. 

Please bear in mind that although the information and tips in this blog are helpful when considering shockwave therapy, for specific advice and guidance, please contact a physiotherapist for a professional assessment.

What is shockwave therapy? 

Shockwave therapy is a National Institute of Clinical Excellence approved treatment to help people who are suffering from chronic (long-term) tendon injuries (tendonopathies). 

Shockwave therapy encourages tissue regeneration by passing high-energy sound waves through the body using a handheld device. For the best possible results, appropriate rehabilitation exercises should be done alongside your shockwave therapy. 

Shockwave therapy is supported by NICE guidelines.

The main conditions that shockwave therapy can treat:

Shockwave therapy can be used treat a variety of tendon injuries. Some of the main conditions it can treat include: 

  • tennis elbow
  • plantar fasciitis (heel pain) 
  • patellar tendinopathy
  • gluteal tendinopathy
  • Achilles tendinopathy

Recovering from these conditions can be a frustrating and slow process. Shockwave therapy, combined with appropriate rehabilitation exercises, can help boost your healing journey and get you back to doing what you love as quickly as possible. 

What happens during your shockwave therapy treatment?

During your shockwave therapy, our experienced physiotherapists will help you feel as comfortable as possible. We’ll start by applying an ultrasound gel to the area to be treated and then using a small, handheld device, we will deliver high-energy sound waves or ‘shockwaves’. 

These shockwaves increase blood flow to your injured area to accelerate the body’s healing process. 

Each shockwave therapy treatment lasts about 5 minutes. The exact number of treatments required will depend on your progress and needs but in general, we recommend 3 sessions over 3 consecutive weeks to start. Some people will need 6 sessions.

What happens after your shockwave therapy treatment?

After your shockwave therapy session, you can return to your normal activities but are encouraged to refrain from any high-impact or strenuous activity for 48 hours. 

If you experience any pain or discomfort, avoid taking any anti-inflammatory medications as these can interfere with the healing process. 

Who can’t have shockwave therapy? 

Although NICE has deemed shockwave therapy to be safe, it is not an appropriate solution for everyone. The following groups should not have shockwave therapy: 

You should not have shockwave therapy if:

  • you have tumour at the site of treatment
  • you have an infection at the site of treatment 
  • you have epilepsy 
  • you have a blood clotting disorder e.g. haemophilia
  • you have been diagnosed with cancer 
  • you are pregnant or trying to conceive
  • you are under 18 years old 
  • you have a cardiac pacemaker
  • you have a powered cardiac implant 
  • you have an unstable heart condition 

Get in touch

If you are interested in shockwave therapy, give us a call on 020 8898 1231. One of our expert physiotherapists will be happy to answer any of your questions.