Radial shockwave therapy is one of the newer forms of treatment that has been taking the sports and musculoskeletal medicine world by storm. The reason is simple too… mechanotransduction. For chronically irritable tendon and plantar fascia injuries, we have often been limited to strength exercise only, with former magic bullets like corticosteroid injections providing more longer-term risk of failure.
A lot of ‘overload’ injuries are usually innocuous with no trauma or mechanism of injury. Sometimes there isn’t even a change in training plan at all! Due to this absence of trauma we miss the big helpful inflammatory response that is often needed for tissue repair from pathology. With this lack of inflammation and the stubborn nature of tendon structure with reduced blood vessel supply around the area we are often found labouring through rehabilitation needing weeks to months of work to see effects and progress appearing.
Mechanotransduction is the process where mechanical stress is targeted into the tendon to directly stimulate a healing response and accelerate that whole process. The rehabilitation is still imperative to success of the treatment, but it means that then you can get out of the acutely painful stage so much faster, returning to activity which can work alongside your rehab plan.
Initially shockwave was designed to tackle kidney stones, however since then the machines have been adapted to target more superficial tissues with equally good success. The goal through the course of therapy for this type of problem however should be establishing where the initial ‘overload’ occurred, correcting any issues through strength and mobility work and getting pain and tissue regulated back to their healthy state.
Shockwave is most commonly implemented in courses with sessions on a weekly basis for best effect. For mild and moderate issues this could be tackled in 3 sessions with an increasing dosage each week. For more chronic injuries, it can sometimes take 5-6 sessions as the progressions need to be much slower due to the sensitivity within the tissue. We have packages of shockwave therapy for £275 for 3 sessions or £500 for 6 sessions.
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