Extra-Corporeal Shockwave Therapy
What is extracorporeal radial shockwave therapy?
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is a series of high-energy percussions to the affected area. The shockwave is a physical sound wave "shock", not an electric one.
How does it work?
1) Treatment produces an inflammatory response. The body responds by increasing metabolic activity around the site of pain. This stimulates and accelerates the healing process (promotes the remodeling of dysfunctional collagenous tissues, such as tendinopathies, trigger points, muscle strains, etc.).
2) Shockwaves break down scar tissue and/or calcification
3) Transmission of pain is diminished through neurological mechanisms (inhibition of nociceptors)
What are the benefits of Shockwave Treatment?
This therapy stimulates the body's natural self-healing process. There is actually an immediate reduction of pain and improved range of motion. ESWT may also eliminate your need for surgery.
How long does the treatment last?
Approximately 2000 shocks are administered per treatment area (the duration of which is approximately 5 minutes). Some patients and/or conditions require more shocks and duration, depending on severity and chronicity (how long the condition or injury has existed). If treating multiple areas or a larger area more shocks and time is required.
Your initial assessment appointment is $50 and is booked for a longer amount of time to include your first treatment. Typical treatments cost is $40 (to a maximum of 4000 shocks). However, a treatment may cost more, depending on the number of shocks required and delivered. Additional 2000 hits per treatment will cost $10. Again, the number of hits depends on the severity, chronicity, location(s) of the condition(s) and size of the area. Any necessary increases will be discussed with you beforehand.
How many treatments will I need?
Normally three to five treatments are necessary at weekly but no more than bi-weekly intervals; there is a small possibility that 2 or more additional treatments may be necessary if your condition is very chronic. Should you not respond in this time, your case will be reviewed with the practitioner to determine an appropriate referral. Success rates with ESWT are unparalleled (over 80=90% improvement).
Does the treatment hurt?
It is a short treatment (usually five to twenty minutes) that may be fairly uncomfortable. However, most people are able to easily tolerate it. However, if you cannot tolerate it, adjustments on the machine can decrease the pressure you feel.
Will it hurt after the treatment?
There may or may not be immediate pain, but some discomfort may be experienced 2-4 hours after the treatment. In some cases it can last up to 48 hours and in very rare cases, the pain lasted up to 5 days. Some bruising and swelling can occur.
What should I do if I am in pain after the treatment?
The shockwave will trigger an inflammatory response, which is the body's natural process of healing. For this reason, do not use anti-inflammatory medications. Do not use ice. The pain should subside within 24 hours. Use Tylenol if necessary, provided you have no trouble with this medication.
What if it feels good after the treatment?
Even if it feels good, we recommend decreased activity for 48 hours following the treatment.
Is Shockwave Therapy covered by my insurance?
If you have insurance you will want to ask your provider about the requirements of your coverage. You will be invoiced under Massage Therapy for treatment.
What is the success rate of this kind of treatment?
A successful treatment is considered as a patient having at least 75% reduction in pain within 3 months. Worldwide, success rates are around 80 to 90%.
What if it doesn't work for me?
Although the short-term effects alone are exceptional, the long-term benefits of this treatment may take up to 3-4 months. If after this time there has not been any marked improvement, you should see your doctor for further treatment options.
Are there contraindications and/or precautions?
■ Coagulation disorders, thrombosis, heart or circulatory patients
■ Use of anticoagulants, especially Marcumar, Heparin, Coumadin
■ Tumour diseases, carcinoma, cancer patients
■ Pregnancy (treatment areas around the pelvic region; other areas are safe to treat)
■ Polyneuropathy in case of diabetes mellitus
■ Acute inflammations / pus focus in the target area
■ Children in growth over growth plate areas
■ Cortisone therapy up to 6 weeks before first treatment Side effects include: (These side effects generally abate after 5 to 10 days.)
Swelling, reddening, haematomas
Skin lesions (especially after previous cortisone therapy)
Why am I asked to sign a consent form?
Pain can increase temporarily. Bruising and or swelling are also possible. We want you to be informed of all aspects.