Shock-wave therapy is a fantastic technology that is revolutionising the treatment of tendon pain. At the Tendon Pain Clinic we only use the finest Swiss EMS shock wave machines on which most of the shock wave research has been conducted. We use both the radial type of shock-wave therapy and the focussed type depending on what we are treating and sometimes switch between the two types as needed to optimise the results of treatment.
Shock-wave therapy has become increasingly popular in recent years for treating tendinopathies because it works well. We use it regularly at The Tendon Pain Clinic as it is safe, non-invasive and easy for patients to fit in to their schedules (“treatment in your lunch break”). The most common question that we get asked by our patients is ‘how does shock-wave therapy work?’ So here goes.
Firstly it does not involves electrical shocks! The shocks are actually acoustic (sound) waves that are generated by the handpiece. When the hand piece is placed on the surface of the skin the waves are delivered through the skin as a small shock wave that spreads inside the affected tissue.
Imagine shock-waves as ripples passing through the body’s tissues similar to when you throw a stone into water. When these ripples collide with tendon cells they cause vibrations, which in turn set off a series of healing responses.
Pain relief – shock-wave therapy has a profound ability to decrease pain and patients often notice this immediately after treatment. It does this by decreasing the amount of something called substance P. This a chemical closely associated with producing pain. Shock wave therapy also causes the destruction of unnecessary pain fibres that grow into a tissue after an injury and mediate pain.
Healing– the shock waves activate a healing response by causing the body to release natural chemicals at the site of treatment. The key actions of these chemicals are to increase the blood flow into the injured tissue and to increase tendon and bone healing cells. Shock waves also break down calcification that occurs in damaged tendons.
We are experts in using Shock Wave Therapy and we teach on its use regularly to other practitioners. To see how Shock-wave Therapy could help you please get in touch.