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What Exactly Is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave Therapy is a popular non-invasive treatment solution for a range of tendon, muscle and joint conditions.

During shockwave treatment, shockwaves are delivered locally to the target tissue via a freely moved applicator. The machine works by using compressed air to move a pin inside the machine, which creates a shockwave that is sent through the applicator. Shockwave therapy is a mechanical pressure wave, meaning there is no electrical currents or any other wave forms such as ultrasound delivered to your body. The mechanical shocks delivered by the shockwave machine work by both increasing blood flow in the area, and by increasing the release of growth factors, both of which increase the rate of healing.

Shockwave therapy is great for long-term tendonitis issues, particularly conditions like tennis elbowachilles tendonitis, patella tendonitis, bursitis, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and more. Shockwave therapy can also be used for general muscular aches and pains, some chronic pain conditions, and certain areas of calcified tissue.

If your physio thinks Shockwave Therapy is a good treatment option for you, they will start a course of treatments on your specific injury area. The number of treatments may vary between 4 and 6 depending on your condition. Once a treatment course is completed, shockwave may be continued if it proved successful for you, or other treatment options may be utilised.

For more information about shockwave therapy treatments please contact Reception or book an appointment online.

Shockwave Therapy FAQ

Yes, we provide this service at all locations. Shockwave Therapy incurs a $30 fee on top of the consultation fee, or we offer a pre-paid package of 6 shockwave sessions for $150.
Like a few other treatment modalities, shockwave can be a little uncomfortable, and for some people can be a little painful. However, if you do feel pain during the treatment, it should not be unbearable. If you feel like the pain is too much, please tell your physiotherapist immediately, and they will reduce the intensity of the shockwave treatment.
Immediately after the treatment, some people experience a mild numbing sensation over the treatment area. Over the next 1-2 days, some people may also experience some soreness over the treatment area, and sometimes some mild bruising, which are perfectly normal. However, if your pain flares up considerably after your shockwave treatment, let your physiotherapist know at your next appointment so they can reduce the treatment intensity.
Some people notice an improvement in your symptoms after the first treatment, but for most people it can take 2-3 sessions before there is any noticeable improvement in your symptoms, which will then continue to improve for each following treatment. If you don’t feel any improvement after 4-6 sessions, it is likely that shockwave is not the right treatment for you, and we can look in to other options.
The current research behind shockwave treatment has multiple proposed mechanisms of action. In terms of increasing blood flow, this occurs at the tendon-bone junction, and is done by a process called neovascularisation – the process where new blood vessels grow. Shockwave also helps to stimulate the proliferation of tenocytes (produce the extracellular matrix of the tendon), increase leukocyte infiltration (white blood cells), and amplify growth factors and protein synthesis to stimulate collagen synthesis and tissue remodelling. This is why shockwave is so useful for conditions like tendonitis.

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