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What to expect?
The physiotherapist localizes the pain region by touch or shock wave localization. A skin gel is applied to the area to allow the shock waves to be introduced into the body. Shock waves are then delivered by the applicator to the pain region.
Dosage parameters are chosen by the clinician to suit the patient and diagnosis.
Treatment usually takes between 2 to 10 minutes depending on the disorder to be treated.
An average of 6 sessions are usually necessary (range 3-9)
Treatment is spaced every 1-2 weeks or longer depending
Pain relief can be felt immediately or over time, this can vary greatly from patient to patient. Results are usually judged over a period of time.
What are the side effects?
You may experience temporary soreness and/or swelling for 24 to 48 hrs, but rarely up to 2 to 4 days. There may be local tenderness. However many patients experience significant pain relief. No serious complications or side-effects have been reported in large scale trials of SWT.
After treatment, you can return to daily activities almost immediately. But you may need to taper the activities in a self-limiting fashion. Regarding sports activity, you should seek advice from your physiotherapist about this.
When should shockwave therapy not be used or used with caution? SWT should not be used in certain circumstances:
1. Vascular / circulation disorder
2. Nerve disorder
4. Bone tumor
5. Metabolic bone condition
6. Open Wounds
8. Over growth plates in younger persons
9. In the vicinity of metal implants (exceptions exist) or inserted electrical devices
10. Caution needs to be taken with patients who are on blood-thinning medications
11. Any other reason Is shockwave therapy effective?
Clinical research studies suggest there is an approximately 70% - 85% chance this technology will improve your condition.
Many clinical trials have been published.
What is the criteria for deciding to treat with SWT?
The presence of a condition that is indicated for SWT
The absence of contraindications to SWT
Failure of other therapies