Bringing an added dimension to Tendinopathy care

What is Shockwave Therapy and how does it work?

Shockwave therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), uses a special, non-invasive device that delivers acoustic energy to injured/painful tissues in the body. Using a probe that sits on the surface of the skin, the machine is able to transmit low-energy sound waves through the skin, to the deeper layers of muscle/tendon in the body.

This is thought to help through three mechanisms:

  1. Desensitises nerve endings in the area which helps reduce pain.
  2. Causes a local micro-trauma which helps stimulate the body’s natural response to injury, increasing blood flow and metabolism which helps with healing.
  3. Breaks down disorganised tissue and calcification which is associated with tendinopathy.

Is it for me?

If you’ve had a tendinopathy or you know someone who has, you will know how frustrating it can be. Lots and lots of exercises, good days and bad days, you feel like you’ve recovered and then one run which was that bit too long and you’re back to the start line.

Shockwave should never be used instead of Physio, but can be a great, non-invasive, safe adjunct to your care. It is recognised by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) with plenty of evidence to support its use.

The plan

You will come for 3-5 sessions, 5-7 days apart. If you’re self-referring you will need an Initial Physio Assessment before we can commence your Shockwave treatment.

Whilst Shockwave is being applied, you will feel some discomfort in the area.

Your Physio will advise you about any exercises that will be helpful (or not) between appointments.  

The results of Shockwave are varied, but most people experience an improvement in symptoms after the third session. 

What does it help?

  • Plantar Fasciitis (foot pain or heel pain)
  • Greater trochanteric pain (lateral hip pain)
  • Glute med tendinopathy (hip pain)
  • Achilles tendinopathy or tendinitis (heel pain or calf pain)
  • Patella tendinopathy or tendinitis (anterior knee pain or knee pain)
  • Rotator cuff related pain (Shoulder pain, supraspinatus tendinopathy or infraspinatus tendinopathy)
  • Calcific tendinopathy 
  • Hamstring tendinopathy (pain in the back of the leg, hamstring origin pain)
  • Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Medial epicondylitis (golfers elbow)

If you would like more details then please call our Chelsea team on 020 7036 0280 or e-mail.

Please scroll down for FAQs and Pricing.

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Shockwave Therapy FAQs

Are there any risks?

There will be a tolerable level of discomfort during treatment, with possible redness, a feeling of bruising, mild swelling and potentially some numbness to the area afterwards.
Side effects are uncommon, but if experienced should resolve themselves within a few days. With treatments 5-7 days apart your treatment plan will not be delayed.
There is a very small risk of any damage to the soft tissue being treated, but your physiotherapist will run you through this.

What happens in a Shockwave appointment?

Ultrasound gel will be applied to the injured area and then your physio will place the hand piece of the device over the surface of the skin and the gel.
Whilst there will be some discomfort, if this becomes intolerable your Physio will adjust the treatment to manage this.
Each consultation is 30 minutes, with shockwave treatment lasting approximately 15 minutes.

What can I do when get home?

If the treatment has left you with some discomfort you can take over the counter painkillers (eg paracetamol) but we do not recommend anti-inflammatories (eg ibuprofen) or icing the area as these can interfere with the bodies natural healing process.
You can return to normal activities straight after your treatment but nothing strenuous or high-impact for 48hrs.

Will Insurance pay for my Shockwave Treatment?

Most insurance companies do cover Shockwave therapy as it’s recognised by NICE, but please check yourself before booking an appointment as an Authorisation Code will be required before booking these sessions.

Privately paying Shockwave Pricing

If you have a referral from a Medical practitioner for Shockwave treatment you’ll be booked in for 3 sessions @ £400
If you’re Self referring then we’ll book a 1hr Initial Physio appointment, to incl Shockwave if this is the best course of treatment, plus 2 Shockwave sessions @ £450
Individual Shockwave appointment @ £150

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