Radial Shock Wave Therapy (RSWT) is an advanced treatment for chronic tendon injuries that applies high frequency shock waves directly to a tendon via a specific applicator. This triggers a healing response inside the tendon that otherwise has stopped healing by itself.
What conditions is it used for?
Calcific tendinopathy of the shoulders and hips
Any condition that has become "unresponsive" to rest, medication or treatment for more than 6 weeks is a good candidate for RSWT.
Does it hurt?
RSWT doesn't typically cause pain during the application unless the tendon damage is very close to bone. In this case it is more discomfort than pain. RSWT produces a chemical within the tendon called Substance P, this acts as a natural analgesic which assists in pain relief. Patient's frequently comment that after the session they have less pain immediately.
How many sessions does it take?
Every patient's healing time will vary, however, for most conditions results are obvious in 3-4 sessions. To maxamise healing time it is critical that the patient be compliant with management advice and participate in tendon specific exercises. It is up to us, as an Osteopath to ensure that proper body mechanics are addressed to ensure that stress has been taken off the body by correcting movement.
Are all Shock Wave Therapy machines the same?
Like everything in life, there are varying levels of quality, and the saying "you get what you pay for" is quite true when it comes to RSWT. Whilst we can't speak for other Clinics, we use the benchmark for RSWT, the Swiss Dolorclast. They are leading the way in technology, participation in research and providing professional education to ensure practitioner's effectively get results