Shockwave Therapy (SWT)?
Originally implemented for the treatment of kidney stones, Shockwave therapy is now effectively utilised for the treatment of a range of chronic tendon, bursa and musculoskeletal conditions.
How does Shock Wave Therapy work?
For a comprehensive description as to the workings of shockwave therapy can be found at https://www.shockwavetherapy.eu/subpage#mechanism-of-action
At Wellsure, shockwave therapy is performed either by a sports therapist (Helen-Marie) or Chiropractor (Cade Sutherland) whom have both underwent additional training in the specific use of ShockWave Therapy.
The Shockwave treatment session optimises between 1500-3500 pulsed shockwaves towards the sourced area and each shockwave sessions lasts between approximately 4-8 minutes. Most patients report some relief in pain levels immediately after therapy; other cases can require up to 5-6 sessions to attain a more significant relief in pain levels.
Our therapist will also most likely provide the following:
- Additional Physitrack rehabilitation exercises delivered via the physitrack APP.
- Additional advise to help maximise the results from the session.
Shockwave Therapy- Common Conditions Treated:
Tendon related Conditions:
- Adhesive capsulitis Or Frozen shoulder (1)
- Finger tenosynovitis (2)- Trigger finger.
- Patella tendinitis/ Jumpers Knee
- Glenohuemeral (Shoulder) Calcific tendinitis.
- Plantar fasciitis
- Osgood Schlatters disease (6)
- Golfers and Tennis Elbow
- Achilles (back of the ankle) tendinitis
- Trochanteric pain syndrome (Hip Tendinopathy/ Bursitis)
Shockwave Therapy may also help with the following presentations:
- Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis: During a recent study, a review of eight different types of treatment for plantar fasciitis concluded that shockwave therapy ranked number one for best outcome and was considered “optimal treatment” (11). Another similar study concluded that combining shockwave therapy with a Therapist-guided stretching has been proven to deliver clinically superior outcomes for plantar fasciitis sufferers (10).
- Achilles Tendinopathy: Shockwave therapy trials have confirmed excellent results with decreasing pain and increasing Achilles function compared with either shockwave therapy or exercises in isolation (12).
- Golfers and / Or Tennis elbow: Shockwave therapy is clinically proven (5) to reduce pain, improve function in patients with tennis elbow and is proven to be as effective as a steroid injection (13).
- Glenohumeral (Shoulder) Calcific Tendinitis: A Clinical study utilising shockwave therapy for the treatment of shoulder calcific tendinitis showed good to excellent results in 87.9% of shoulders treated. Among shockwave patients, calcium deposits were completely eliminated in 21.2% and partially eliminated in 36.3% (7).
- Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (Shin Splints): A clinical trial showed that 40 of 47 shin splint sufferers were able to return to their preferred sport at their pre-injury level after 15 months, versus only 22 in a control group (8).
- Hip – Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome: A randomised controlled clinical trial of 229 people showed shockwave therapy was significantly more successful than steroid injection (9).
How much does the Shockwave Therapy Session Cost?
The fees for the Shockwave Therapy Sessions are as follows:
- When delivered our sports therapist-The shock wave therapy session is included within the consultation fee.
- When delivered by one of our Chiropractors: Standard Chiropractic Consultation plus and additional fee of ($55).
- As the shockwave therapy is performed by a qualified Chiropractor or Remedial Massage therapist, private health insurance may be offset towards to fee of Shockwave treatment.
- Medicare and GP referral can only be treated by our registered Chiropractors.
Can Shockwave Therapy be utilised as an alternative to surgery?
Each individual case is naturally assessed on its own merits! In terms of available treatments options offered; Shockwave Therapy often compares with glowing comparisons. Comparing Shockwave therapy to surgical intervention:
- There is no lost time recovering from surgery,
- Shockwave therapy in non-invasive (meaning it doesn’t break the skin),
- The financial costs of Shockwave therapy are often far less then surgery,
- There is considerably less risk of complications when compared to surgery.
A recent plantar fasciitis study (3) found, similar results were seen with patients who had Shockwave Therapy compared with those who underwent surgery. The conclusion from the researchers was “ESWT is a reasonable earlier line of treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis before surgery”. The results of other Shockwave Therapy studies have shown similar glowing results as to the effectiveness of Shock Wave Therapy as a treatment modality.
Can Shockwave Therapy be utilised as an alternative option to Cortisone injections?
Shockwave Therapy has been shown to not have the same negative side effects with tendon tissue as can steroid injections.
In the case of tendinopathy, the effect of cortisone injections has decreased over the past 10 years and in certain cases, Cortisone has shown to negatively impact the tendon tissue in the long term, including cell death and necrosis. (4).
Steroid (glucocorticoid) injections are still however recommended for a number of conditions.
Scientific Support for Shockwave Therapy:
For a complete list of scientific support for Shockwave Therapy please visit:
Shockwave Therapy- Is a GP Referral Required?
A referral is NOT required for Shockwave Therapy.
Within our clinics, an initial consultation by our shock wave therapy practitioner/ Sports Therapist or Chiropractor is required to asses and decides if Shockwave Therapy may be suitable for your specific presentation.
Please note, those referred to our office via DVA or from your GP (EPC) you will be seen by the Chiropractor whom is additionally trained in the specific use of Shockwave therapy.
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- Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2010 Nov; 130(11): 1343–1347.
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- J Cell Physiol. 2018 Aug 4. doi: 10.1002/jcp.26907
- Am J Sports Med (2009) 37(3):463-70.
- Annals Rehabilitation Medicine 2012;36(5):681–7.