What Is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)?

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (simply known as ESWT) has become a popular treatment solution for various musculoskeletal disorders or orthopaedic conditions such as plantar fasciitis, tendonitis or tennis elbow. In fact, a study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States discovered a 92% reduction in pain for chronic sufferers of plantar fasciitis after just one ESWT treatment. Furthermore, a 2015 study published in the International Journal of Surgery also highlighted the high efficiency of ESWT treatment for chronic pain associated with Achilles Tendinopathy.

The treatment, as conducted by our highly experienced physiotherapy and chiropractic teams at our Castle Hill, Wetherill Park and Parramatta clinics, delivers shock waves to the source of pain in order to induce microtrauma to the damaged tissues. This, therefore, stimulates the body’s natural healing response in which blood flow and nutrients to the damaged area are increased, facilitating repair and recovery.

Depending on the condition, ESWT uses minimally painful “low energy” shock waves, with repeat procedures required. Alternatively, “high-energy” shock wave may be used, however, this can be significantly more painful and may require general anaesthesia to ensure patient comfort.

Despite this, EWST has proven to be a beneficial option for chronic pain sufferers in which other treatments have not produced effective results or surgical intervention poses a significant risk. In fact, ESWT is a non-invasive treatment solution and does not require lengthy periods of recovery allowing for the timely return to daily activity, work or sport without the risk of further harm.

The convenient and prompt in-clinic procedure involves a musculoskeletal shock wave therapy device that emits rapid and quick jolts to the injured area. Because of this, it is not uncommon to hear repeated clicking sounds. Our Spinal and Sports Care chiropractors or physiotherapy practitioners will ensure patient comfort throughout the entirety of the procedure. Patients will be asked to lie down in a relaxed position with the injured area exposed. The practitioner may also use ultrasound scans to adequately locate the damaged area and provide treatment in the necessary position.

As ESWT treatment aims to stimulate the growth of new tissue cells, recovery can be a gradual process as with any treatment solution. Depending on the condition, patients may expect complete recovery over a few days, weeks or months. However, unlike surgery, ESWT does not require lengthy periods of rest or immobilisation and patients can return to normal activities quickly as directed by their practitioner.

The major benefit of ESWT is the limited risks associated with procedure compared to alternative medical treatments such as surgery. While it is not common, some patients may experience temporary soreness, bruising, redness or tingling at the treatment site, which should subside after a short period of time.

At Spinal and Sports Care, our expert chiro and physio team located at Castle Hill, Wetherill Park and Parramatta have extensive experience in various treatment solutions, including ESWT. For more information about how ESWT can help improve your condition, contact our friendly team on (02) 9683 1110. Alternatively, you can book an appointment with our physiotherapy or chiropractic staff at a location near you by following the book online prompts.