Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)

ESWT – Shockwave Therapy treatments in London, Canada Water SE16


What is Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)?

Shockwave therapy or Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) uses shockwaves produced outside the skin (extracorporeal) which are passed through skin into injured parts of the body to provide pain relief and restoration of function. Shockwaves are mechanical, audible, low-energy sound waves and impulses of energy which produce micro traumas to specific damaged tissues. The resulting procedure causes an increased blood flow to the area of concern which in turn speeds up the body’s healing process and decreases local factors which can cause pain. Shockwaves can also help to breakdown calcification & disorganised tissue. ESWT was first introduced in 1982 originally for the management of urological conditions. Research and testing developed over the years into orthopaedics where it is now used in musculo-skeletal (MSK) treatments.

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Shockwave Therapy Prices

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What can ESWT be used for?

ESWT or shockwave therapy is a highly effective treatment for numerous conditions listed below, particularly connective tissues injuries and dysfunctions and chronic conditions. It is recommended by the NICE guidelines (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) and is commonly used within the NHS and in private health care. ESWT is also available on health insurance with companies such as AXA PPP, BUPA and VItality (although please check with your provider first before booking an appointment). Conditions include but not limited to:

  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Upper & Lower Extremity Tendinopathy
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Adhesive Capsulitis
  • Calcific Tendonitis of the Shoulder
  • Tennis Elbow (common extensor tendinopathy)
  • Golfers Elbow (common flexor tendinopathy)
  • Greater trochanteric Pain Syndrome
    • Gluteus Medius Tendinopathy
    • Trochanteric Bursitis (Lateral Hip Pain)
  • Patella Tendinopathy
  • Spine Dysfunction
  • Shin Splints
  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Wound Healing

Why should I have ESWT?

Essentially ESWT is non-invasive, non-surgical and effective in treating numerous conditions and dysfunctions. Often it is available as a second line treatment for patients who have not responded to other MSK / manual treatment options (such as Osteopathy, Physiotherapy, rest, ice or even pain medication.

Who shouldn’t have ESWT?

There are several contraindications to ESWT and this means we cannot provide this service for all patients. Predominantly if you are pregnant we advise that you do not have ESWT. There are other contraindications which mainly relate to the state of the underlying tissue and those of pacemakers, implants and replacements. These will be discussed fully during the clinical consultation with your Osteopath or Physiotherapist.

What happens after the treatment? What are the risks / side effects?

Whilst most patients experience improvements in the symptoms reported, some patients do take a few weeks to respond and improve. ESWT is not without its risks and side effects. The risks and side effects with ESWT are minimal for patients. During the treatment you may experience some pain and discomfort and following treatment you may experience increased pain, swelling, redness, bruising and occasional numbness into the treated area. This usually reduces prior to your next appointment which is usually a week later. Other risks are ligament or tendon rupture or soft tissue damage however these risks are usually very small.

How many treatments will I need?

In nearly all cases you will need a course of treatment depending on the condition or dysfunction being treated. Usually the treatments are 1-2 weeks apart. Each treatment is approximately 20 minutes in duration and patients often need on average 3-5 appointments (5 for the most stubborn / resistant injuries and conditions). INtensity of the treatments will begin low before increasing to the point where you feel uncomfortable. Before receiving ESWT you will receive a full comprehensive and clinical assessment which may include ultrasound, MRI or other clinical investigations.

Shockwave Therapy FAQs

All ESWT (extracorporeal shockwave therapy) treatments are provided by our fully qualified and experienced Osteopaths and Physiotherapists.

ESWT (extracorporeal shockwave therapy) is generally not a pain free treatment. Due to the process involved where you are causing micro trauma and inflammation, there will be some discomfort or pain at the treatment site. The level of discomfort and pain depends on the type of injury that you are having treated.

ESWT (extracorporeal shockwave therapy) is safe and well backed with evidence based research. A full consultation with your Osteopath or Physiotherapist will ascertain further safety check and appropriateness for treatment.

Usually ESWT (extracorporeal shockwave therapy) is used towards the end of your treatment and especially as it is often used as a treatment modality once all other treatment avenues have been exhausted. More recently ESWT is being used earlier in treatment plans to create a complete rehabilitation and treatment plan by helping to speed up recovery.

It is advised that you do not exercise for at least 24 hours after the ESWT (extracorporeal shockwave therapy) especially exercise that stresses and works into the treated area. Such as no tennis if you’ve had your tennis elbow treated or no running if you’ve had your achilles treated – even if you are experiencing no pain. Refraining from exercise also includes any rehab exercises that you may have been given.

ESTW(extracorporeal shockwave therapy) is available on private health insurance such as AXA-PPP, BUPA and Vitality. However as usual we recommend you call your private health insurance provider to ascertain what treatment you can and cannot receive depending on your policy wording.

You can book online or call the clinic on 0203 6060 490!

Conditions & information

Select the part of the body to read more about conditions relating to that area.

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