We get asked this question all of the time. During the treatment Shockwave will feel uncomfortable but each treatment only lasts for 2-3 minutes and you can only have 1-3 areas per session so maximum of 9 minutes of pain for a huge gain!
Also our therapists are completely in control of the machine, they can turn the intensity up or down quickly to ensure you are comfortable. They can also stop the machine for a break half way through if needed!
At your first visit, you will meet one of our friendly and highly skilled therapists, who have been rigorously trained to carry out the Shockwave treatment. You are likely to have been highlighted as a potential candidate for Shockwave Therapy by your initial therapist however your eligibility will be confirmed by the present practitioner.
Your first Shockwave Therapy session is 30 minutes which includes a thorough assessment of the injury. Your therapist will take some outcome measures so that you can track the improvement. The actual treatment only lasts for 2-3 minutes per area treated, however you can have 1- 3 areas treated in one session for the same injury. Follow up Shockwave sessions are for 15 minutes.
Your therapist will first apply gel to the area, similar to if you have had an ultrasound scan. Then they will apply the head of the machine to the affected area and start the treatment. The head of the machine delivers compressed air pulses through the ultrasound gel and onto the injured area.
The intensity of treatment really depends on how much you feel you can tolerate. Your therapist will start the machine at a low level (level 1) and gradually increase it with your feedback to as high as you can tolerate. Ideally we want to get as close to level 5 as possible for maximum benefits of treatment. At first it can feel quite uncomfortable however, as you get used to the sensation it will feel more and more tolerable.
The second session will start where the last one finished, so that you will find you can gradually increase the intensity with each session.
How can I prepare for Shockwave Therapy?
We recommend you avoid taking any anti – inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) or ice therapy for 3 days before your first session and throughout your course of Shockwave Therapy.
Wear comfortable clothing so that your therapist can access the affected area.
What should I expect afterwards?
Some patients report feeling ‘tingling’ or ‘soreness’ immediately after treatment but this usually improves quickly. Some patients experience a reduction in their pain immediately following treatment, but this does tend to vary from patient to patient. It’s normal to feel slight discomfort the day after treatment for 24-48 hours.
What do I do after Shockwave?
We recommended that after your Shockwave session you refrain from physical activity, especially activities involving the affected area, for at least 48 hours.
It’s really important that during your course of Shockwave Therapy you continue with all your physiotherapy management – whether that’s home exercises, postural work, a strength program or anything else! Shockwave Therapy provides a fantastic opportunity to get on top of an injury, but your physiotherapists advice is still really important.
If you are feeling sore after Shockwave you can take pain relief, however, as discussed above avoid taking any anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) and using ice therapy afterwards
If you have any further questions on Shockwave please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are here to help!!