Shockwave Therapy (SWT)

Shockwave Therapy (SWT)

How Does ESWT Work?

During treatment the high energy radial waves interact with Substance P (a brain chemical that stimulates pain receptors in the body) and other tissues which leads to a cascade of beneficial effects including enhancing circulation, reversal of chronic inflammation, stimulation of collagen (necessary for healing, repairing and building strength) resulting in pain relief and quicker healing. Shockwave Therapy allows for immediate pain relief and a reduced recovery time.

How Many Treatments of Shockwave is Required?

Most clients being treated for plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendon issues with shockwave therapy will require a minimum of 6 treatments. Patients who have a combination of these issues can take between 6-12 treatments. 

A standard treatment will last for approximately 4 minutes (this is on one site only) during which around 2000 waves are administered.

The timeframe between treatments is twice within the first week and then weekly thereafter. 

Our soft tissue structures take 6 weeks to remodel and 12 weeks for collagen synthesis, meaning it will take approximately 6-12 weeks to get benefit from using shock wave therapy. The first 6 weeks is aimed at reducing and managing pain.

What should you expect during the shock wave treatment?

It will feel like little elastic band flicks however, your feedback to the therapist will help guide the level of the intensity. It is expected to get to 5/10 pain levels. It is important that the treatment is slightly uncomfortable to have effect. The treatment can stop at any time if you tell us you feel it is too uncomfortable. 

What You Should Expect After Treatment?

In most instances, pain levels are reduced immediately after treatment. Occasionally the area treated may continue to be tender and this is quite normal. Pain levels may be the same the day after treatment as pre-treatment and this is also normal. Ideally, no high-level impact sporting activities should occur 48 hours after the treatment due to the Hyperstimulation anaesthesia (reduced pain sensation). 


Why is Shockwave Therapy NOT Used as a Standalone Treatment?

While some practitioners will use shockwave as a standalone treatment, at The Foot Studio we pride ourselves on finding and treating the CAUSE of the patient’s pain or injury and providing long term solutions. Shock wave is a fantastic way to reduce pain, decrease healing times and increase long term outcomes.  however a personalised tailored treatment plan including the use of a graded exercise program, footwear and orthoses are essential for long term successful patient outcomes and to prevent injury recurrence. 


Shockwave helps 75% of the people with Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciopathy. This is also why we combine treatments with exercise therapy, appropriate footwear and orthotic therapy to increase success rates. 


What are the side effects of Shockwave Therapy?

There are virtually no side effects of shockwave therapy. Most commonly clients may experience superficial bruising, mild tingling, numbness, aching or throbbing but these symptoms are very modest and short-lived.  There have been no significant, irreversible complications noted in the literature. 


What happens after you have finished shock wave therapy treatment? 

Your pain will likely be reduced, meaning your Podiatrist will be able to properly assess you. 

A biomechanical assessment is then conducted to further isolate the cause for your pain. This assessment will allow your podiatrist to further identify biomechanical markers for your individual pain case and then facilitate the creation of the best long term treatment plan moving forward. 

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