A clinically established form of manual therapy using a device which emits a commonly painless energy wave which has been shown to be beneficial in a range of health conditions.
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) was first introduced into clinical practice back in 1980 as a treatment for non-invasive lithotripsy. However, in the last two decades, it has been used as a method for musculoskeletal disorders and the stimulation of bone growth. Thus, the shock waves are used for the treatment of various orthopaedic conditions including plantar fasciopathy, shoulder tendinopathy, elbow tendinopathy, patellar tendinopathy and achilles tendinopathy. Recently, shockwave treatment has been extended to treat other conditions, including femoral head necrosis, patella spurs, osteochondritis and calcified shoulder tendonosis. Research continues on a range of other conditions.
Shock waves are high energy sound waves produced under water with a high voltage explosion and evaporation. In orthopaedic cases, as an example, shock waves are used to induce neo-vascularisation at the junction of the tendon-bone and the release of growth factors. Subsequently, these lead to the improvement of the blood supply and to an increase in cell proliferation and ultimately to the tissue regeneration of tendons and bones for tissue repair.
Shockwave treatment is a relatively new non-invasive therapeutic intervention, without the dangers of a surgical procedure and post-operative pain.