Shockwave Therapy

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WHAT IS SHOCKWAVE THERAPY?

Therapeutic shock waves were introduced into medicine as a treatment for eliminating kidney stones 20 years ago. At the same time, a coincidental side effect of this treatment was discovered – accelerated tissue healing in the area.

Essentially, radial shock waves work through the application of a high-energy acoustic pulse transmitted into the tissues of the affected area of the body. Radial shockwaves (or “pressure waves”) are pulses generated pneumatically (ie. via compressed air). The compressed air is used to drive a projectile in a cylinder inside the hand piece to a shock transmitter. The kinetic energy generated from the motion and weight of the projectile converts into acoustic energy when the projectile hits the shock transmitter. The acoustic pulses then transmit into the underlying tissue, treating a larger area than the focused shockwave.

 

WHO CAN BENEFIT?

Radial pressure waves offer a non-invasive treatment solution to long-term soft tissue pathologies. Radial shockwave therapy is an effective alternative for people with chronic pain resulting from soft tissue conditions who have exhausted all other forms of treatment (e.g. electrical modalities, soft tissue treatments, exercises, joint mobilizations, etc.). Because radial shockwave therapy works to stimulate the body’s natural self-healing mechanisms and does not involve the use of drugs, it is well tolerated.

 

HOW DO RADIAL PRESSURE WAVES WORK?

Radial shockwaves help to support and reset the healing pattern in the affected tissue. Radial shockwave treatment works to increase the metabolic activity around the painful site, which stimulates reabsorption of unwanted calcium deposits in tendons and stimulates the body’s natural healing process, thus reducing pain.

The physical effects of radial pressure waves facilitate:

  • Pain reduction
  • Increased metabolism
  • Revascularization
  • Reduced muscle tone

 

SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE

Radial pressure wave therapy is a modality that is successfully used by doctors, and health care practitioners in both sport medicine and rehabilitation.

The research is continuously progressing with a steadily increasing publication volume. A systematic review of shockwave therapies provides evidence to support the use of shockwave therapy in a number of soft tissue musculoskeletal disorders, including plantar fasciitis, calcific tendonitis, tennis elbow and frozen shoulder [1]. In addition, shockwave therapy has been scientifically proven to be a safe treatment modality[1].

 

TREATMENT

Before a treatment with radial pressure waves, a full physical examination should be performed by a physiotherapist.

For optimal treatment, it is important that radial shockwaves be applied to the painful points, followed by activation and smoothing of the surrounding muscles and connective tissues.

Depending on the indication, 3-5 sessions in total, at 5-10 day intervals are the most common treatment frequency.

Treatment is carried out by passing the shock wave applicator over the painful area. The treatments last approximately five minutes and may be somewhat uncomfortable, but are usually well tolerated. Most people notice significant changes after just one treatment.

 

SIDE EFFECTS

Side effects can occur after a treatment with Radial pressure wave therapy. The majority will appear after 1-2 days.

Common side effects include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Red spots

 

WHO SHOULD NOT HAVE RADIAL SHOCKWAVE THERAPY?


Radial shockwave therapy is not appropriate for everyone. It should not be performed in people with the following conditions:

  • Pregnancy: do not use radial pressure wave treatment on any body part during pregnancy.
  • Haemophilia, or other coagulation disorders.
  • Anticoagulant drugs, especially Marcumar
  • Malignancy, tumours.
  • Acute inflammation. Do not use over swollen, inflamed, infected tissue, skin eruptions or on other acute tissue lesions.
  • Thrombosis
  • Polyneuropathy area. Diabetic neuropathy can often result in altered sensory and nervous function in the area of decreased sensation.
  • Cortisone therapy: wait a minimum 6 weeks after local cortisone injection before treatment with radial pressure waves.
  • Over a body part with an metal implant.
  • Active autoimmune diseases.

 

 

Contact Us

613-230-7891

102 Lewis Street
Ottawa, ON
K2P 0S7
Phone: 613-230-7891
Fax: 613-569-1831
Send us an email

Hours

Mondays: 7:00am - 6:00pm
Tuesdays: 7:00am - 6:00pm
Wednesdays: 7:30am - 7:00pm
Thursdays: 7:00am - 8:00pm
Fridays: 7:00am -5:00pm

Saturdays*: 11:00am - 3:00pm

Hours are subject to change.

Parking

You can take advantage of the free 3-hour street parking on Delaware St. There are also several other streets within a couple of blocks (south) of the clinic with free 1 hour parking (Waverly, Frank, MacDonald).

If you require 2 hour parking, please go to McLaren St.