A new and advanced, non-invasive treatment for clients with painful foot and leg problems.
Shockwave is a new piece of effective, non-invasive and cutting edge technology that can treat a number of painful problems and injuries. The name might sound a little intense, but don't worry, there's nothing to be afraid of.
It's a form of treatment that uses high energy acoustic waves (otherwise known as radial pressure waves) on your injured tissues. It emits the waveforms through the use of a handpiece, which facilitates a local reaction to engage your body's healing and repair response. This results in an optimal cellular healing environment, which:
Shock wave therapy can target specific pain in the soft tissues like muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and bones. To put it simply, the shockwaves will create micro ruptures which stimulate blood flow to the problematic area which will result in localised inflammation.
Following this, your body will naturally work to heal this inflammation, produce new healthy cells - and work to repair damaged cells. Following this, the injured tissues will begin to repair and associated pain will be reduced.
Shock wave therapy can also be helpful with pain relief by helping to release trigger points. We'll touch more on this below.
As mentioned above, shock wave therapy will cause inflammation and your body will naturally react by trying to repair the affected cells. This encourages non healing tissues to repair themselves.
When cells are damaged, collagen is naturally produced to try and repair these damaged cells. The older you are, the less your body naturally produces collagen. So, shock wave therapy can be a way to kickstart the body into creating collagen by way of procollagen synthesis. Between 1–10% of muscle tissue is composed of collagen and the protein keeps muscles healthy and functioning properly.
Adequate blood flow it vital in repairing and maintaining damaged tissues. The capillary microruptures from shock wave therapy encourage blood vessels to grow in the treated area. These new blood vessels will help to provide the necessary amount of blood to the area, and the increase in oxygen will help to heal tissues faster.
There has been a range of clinical studies that have proven that shockwave therapy breaks down calcium build up. The acoustic waves that are sent through shockwave therapy work to break up these existing calcifications - or calcium build ups.
Shockwave therapy works to gradually release trigger points in the muscles. Trigger points are one of the primary causes of muscle pain and
tightness. The acoustic waves sent through shockwave therapy work to unblock the calcium pump and release the trigger points, often
resulting in pain relief.
Typically, the best results for Shockwave are found when treating tendon and muscle issues, particularly chronic conditions - those that have been hanging around for a long period of time.
However, we will first need to diagnose your condition and work out if Shockwave is an indicated treatment pathway for you.
Generally, Shockwave can be beneficial for any of the following conditions:
To ensure you achieve a complete recovery and can return to activity, we tend to approach problems in a wholistic nature. Hence, we often use this treatment in conjunction with our range of other treatment options such as orthotic therapy, exercise prescription, mobilisation techniques, dry needling, gait re-training, foot mobilisation therapy, and the list goes on.
We require an initial appointment to assess your problem and determine if Shockwave is going to be an effective treatment pathway for you. If so, it can be administered at the initial consult. Our practitioners are equiped with a diagnostic ultrasound to ensure it is safe to proceed with the treatment and will formulate a treatment plan based on your goals and timeline.
In each of your Shockwave treatments, your podiatrist will follow a similar routine as outlined in the steps below, after your current progress is discussed and other modalities e.g. dry needling and exercise rehab prescription have been performed.
The Shockwave administration is as follows:
Our Brisbane podiatrist team will locate the treatment area through palpation (a physical examination using the hands) to ensure the therapy is delivered precisely.
A sufficient amount of ultrasound gel is applied to the injured area, which is necessary to transfer the acoustic waves efficiently and smoothly.
They will then place the head of the hand held probe on the treatment area and push down slightly. The start button will be pressed and the treatment will begin.
It's quite a unique device, so it may feel odd and uncomfortable to start, but as the treatment continues, your discomfort should reduce. Each treatment will last for approximately 10-20 minutes.
As we've said, there's really nothing to worry about with this treatment. It may cause some localised discomfort at the time, which could be comparable to the pain felt when pushing on a bruise. The treatment may be followed by mild tenderness, but this should settle within 24 hours, with Shockwave often providing pain relief within 0-12 hours following treatment.
The aim of each Shockwave session is to increase the dosage of acoustic energy waves to continue to promote the healing process. Thus discomfort levels tend to remain fairly constant throughout your treatments as your body continues to adjust and heal so it can absorb higher energy waves.
It depends on the severity of your condition and pain, however, we normally recommend 3-4 weekly treatments, due to the soft tissue regeneration and recovery cycle being 4 weeks.
These treatments are usually performed one week apart. Many patients notice an immediate difference once the session is complete, or within a few hours or days. Because the healing process starts immediately after your first treatment, we usually expect to see your pain and symptoms continually decrease each week.
It is uncommon to experience side effects however it is possible that you may feel discomfort around the area of injury, and some bruising, although both of these are very rare.
Generally, sessions only last about 10-15 minutes and during this time approximately 2500-3000 shocks will be applied to the injured tissue. However, the length of the session and the amount of shocks that are sent will depend on a number of things, like where your injury is located and whether it involves chronic conditions.
Radial shockwave therapy doesn't generally require a referral, but most patients will likely need an assessment by our qualified podiatrists to see whether the treatment is a good fit for them. If you have soft tissue injuries, plantar fasciitis, chronic inflammation or struggle with joint pain, it's worth checking with your podiatrist if you're a good candidate.
There is no consensus on how long not to use shockwave therapy post injection. However, it is advised that is left for at least six weeks.