What is Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy (also known as ESWT or extracorporeal shockwave therapy) is a scientifically proven treatment for pain, acute and chronic soft tissue injuries.
A shockwave is an acoustic wave, which carries high energy into injured areas. These acoustic waves aim to reduce pain, increase blood flow, stimulate new blood vessel formation, reverse chronic inflammation, stimulate collagen production and dissolve calcium deposits.
As a result, these processes collectively speed up the healing process of the injured area.
ESWT is a multidisciplinary device used in orthopaedics, physiotherapy, sports medicine, urology and veterinary medicine. Its main assets are fast pain relief and mobility restoration. Together with being a non-surgical therapy, it is an ideal therapy to speed up recovery and aid various indications causing acute or chronic pain.
How does Shockwave Therapy work?
Reduce pain: Through the dispersal of a neurotransmitter called Substance P into the injured area, which modulates pain perception by altering cellular signalling pathways, resulting in an analgesic effect.
Increased blood flow to the area: Substance P stimulates the release of nitric oxide, which then causes the vasodilation of blood vessels.
New blood vessel formation: Through micro rupture of capillaries, the expression and production of growth factors, the reformation of arterioles, and the enhanced blood supply and oxygenation. Increased nutrient blood flow aids with repair of damaged tissue structures.
Reversal of chronic inflammation: Through increased mast cell production, the subsequent production of chemokines and cytokines, and the restoration of normal proliferation and remodelling stages of healing. First, it enhances the inflammatory process, then helps to restore normal healing.
Stimulation of collagen production: The synthesis of collagen Type III fibres is accelerated and the fibres are conformed into a longitudinal structure to make the newly formed tendons denser, firmer structures.
Dissolve calcification: Calcium deposits in a tissue are broken down through dissolution. The granular remains are then removed by the lymphatic system. Calcium build-up is most commonly a result of micro-tears or trauma to a tendon.
Release of Trigger Points: Trigger points are the principal cause of pain in the back, neck, shoulder and limbs. They are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibres and have extremely contracted sarcomeres. It is assumed that ESWT delivers acoustic energy, which unblocks the calcium pump and thus releases the trigger points.
What can Shockwave Therapy be used for?
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Patella tendinopathy
- Gluteal tendinopathy
- Hamstring tendinopathy
- Quadricep tendinopathy
- Shin splints
- Rotator cuff tendinopathy
- Trochanteric bursitis
- Tennis elbow
- Golfer’s elbow
- Muscle strains
- Ligament sprains
How many treatments are needed?
The science recommends 6 treatments, spaced out at weekly intervals, in conjunction with a home exercise programme. However, your Physiotherapist will provide a tailored plan to suit your condition and needs.
Natasha, one of our qualified physiotherapists, tells us about Shockwave Therapy and how it is a proven treatment for pain, acute and chronic soft tissue injuries.
To book an appointment or for further information, please contact us.
Dubai Physiotherapy and Family Medicine Clinic
1st Floor, Town Centre Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, UAE
Call: 04 349 6333