It’s safe to say Shockwave Therapy has taken the physiotherapy world by storm and we are proud to be able to now offer it at the Back & Body Clinic.
Shockwave therapy, is a clinically proven and highly effective treatment for chronic soft tissue injuries. Shockwave uses high energy sound waves to produce a rapid increase in blood circulation, break down scar tissue and kick-start the inflammatory process.
This triggers the body into restarting a ‘stalled’ healing process. All resulting in a reduction in pain and improving function.
Shockwave is a non invasive, safe alternative to injections or surgery for really chronic injuries. It is ideal for those who don’t seem to be able to get rid of their pain despite every effort. Shockwave Therapy may be the answer!
New evidence is being released all the time showing the powerful effects Shockwave Therapy has on an ever growing repertoire of conditions. The list below are some of the common conditions that have been shown to improve greatly following a course of shockwave therapy:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles Tendinopathy
- Tennis Elbow
- Golfers Elbow
- Shoulder Pain
- Lateral Hip Pain
- Knee Pain
- Shin Splints
and lots of other stubborn injuries
Shockwave has now been recognised and recommended by NICE (UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) which has thrown this modality to the forefront in treating many chronic musculoskeletal conditions.
Can Shockwave help your injury?
How Good Is Shockwave Therapy?
There is new evidence being released every month highlighting the amazing effects this cutting edge technology has on patients. Most recent research suggests that after only 3 or 4 treatments of shockwave therapy, over 80% of patients report a reduction of pain and improvement in function/hobbies.
If you would like to read even more about the amazing effects shockwave therapy has had for so many individuals in recent years; the team at Chattanooga have put together a document highlighting all the clinical evidence to support the use of this state-of-the-art technology:
How does Shockwave work?
Some of the effects relate to an increase in local blood flow which has been clearly evidenced. It is also been shown that the beneficial effects are also partly due to a stimulation of an inflammatory response. Therefore enhancing tissue repair responses.
Increasing blood flow and stimulating an inflammatory response are common effects of many treatments found in the physiotherapy world. However the way Shockwave effects an individual’s scar tissue really sets it ahead of many other treatment options. Unlike normal elasticated tissue, scar tissue is non-elastic and will prevent normal movement and function. By breaking down scar tissue, shockwave therapy will stimulate recovery and promote normal healing.
Another strong argument as to why shockwave therapy is so effective is because it stimulates a persistent tendinopathy (soft tissue injury) from a chronic non-effective inflammatory state to an acute effective inflammatory state. This provides the stimulus/trigger one’s body needs to restart a ‘stalled’ repair sequence.
Ultrasound Therapy can be used on both chronic and acute conditions and is proposed to reduce the healing time of certain soft tissue injuries. It is commonly used in the rehabilitation of muscle, tendon and ligament injuries, haematomas and oedema. High frequency sound waves are focussed around the site of an injury by gently moving an ultrasonic head over the affected area.
Effects on the Inflammatory and Repair Processes: Ultrasound is thought to accelerate the normal resolution time of the inflammatory process by attracting more mast cells to the site of injury. This may cause an increase in blood flow which can be beneficial in the sub-acute phase of tissue injury.
Ultrasound may also stimulate the production of more collagen- the main protein component in soft tissue such as tendons and ligaments. Hence ultrasound may accelerate the proliferative phase of tissue healing.
Ultrasound is thought to improve the extensibility of mature collagen and so can have a positive effect on fibrous scar tissue which may form after an injury.
Thermal Effect: As the ultrasound waves pass from the treatment head into the skin they cause vibrations to occur leading to the production of heat in the surrounding tissues, particularly those that contain collagen. This increase in temperature may cause an increase in the extensibility of structures such as ligaments, tendons, scar tissue and fibrous joint capsules. In addition, heating may also help to reduce pain and muscle spasm and promote the healing process.
- Patients with reduced sensation to pain and/or heat
- Pregnancy (direct exposure to abdomen
- Local malignancy or cancerous tissue
- Local acute infection
- Direct application to the eye, brain, spinal cord, heart, reproductive organs, epiphyseal regions in children
- Over areas of thrombosis or other vascular abnormalities
TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
TENS is often used in the treatment of chronic pain. TENS primarily aims to provide a degree of symptomatic pain relief by exciting sensory nerves and thereby stimulating either the pain gate mechanism and/or the opioid system: The tingling sensation of the TENS inhibits the amount of pain signals received by the brain and/or TENS increases the levels of the body’s own natural pain killing substances called endorphins and enkephalins.
TENS is a safe and effective technique and involves the use of a battery operated device and is delivered across the skin via conducting pads. Clinically it is important to enable the patient to find their optimal treatment frequency – which will almost certainly vary between individuals. Setting the machine and telling the patient that this is the ‘right’ setting is almost certainly not going to be the maximally effective treatment, though of course, some pain relief may well be achieved.
Some simple precautions should be observed do not;
- Use on or near the torso of a pregnant woman.
- Use on the front of the neck as it may cause spasm or reflex loss of blood pressure.
- Use from one side of the chest to the other – front to back or left to right.
- From one side of the head to the other.
- Over or near the eyes (similar issues with possible increase in fluid pressure).
- From one side of the spinal column to the other
- Over or near a cardiac pacemaker
- On broken skin