Who is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy suitable for?

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy treatment is a highly effective treatment available for patients with:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Shoulder pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Achilles Tendonopathy
  • Trochanteric bursitis (Lateral hip pain)

This can be a very successful conservative treatment when used alongside appropriate physiotherapy intervention.

Shockwave therapy is a non-surgical treatment, and works by delivering impulses of energy, targeted to specific damaged tissues within the abnormal tendon. This increases the blood flow within the affected area, stimulating cell regeneration and healing, and decreasing local factors which can cause pain.

Before shockwave therapy is considered you will have a full clinical assessment to ensure it is appropriate. This may include an MRI or ultrasound scan if you have seen a consultant.

What happens during shockwave therapy?

Your physiotherapist will work with you to identify the exact area of pain and apply a gel-like substance to the area to promote the process.

A probe is pressed on to the affected area and the shockwaves are delivered through the skin. The impulses are delivered through the skin as a shockwave that spreads inside the injured tissue as an aspherical ‘radial' wave.

These radial shockwaves initiate an inflammation-like response in the injured tissue that is being treated, and prompts the body to respond naturally by increasing blood circulation, the number of blood vessels and therefore metabolism in the injured tissue.

The shockwaves are felt as pulses which are a little uncomfortable but not painful. Typically your first treatment will start with a low level of intensity and increase this to a point where you feel comfortable. Patients are typically treated in an outpatient environment (not in theatre), and the procedure does not require any type of sedation or anaesthetic.

Shockwave therapy treatments are usually performed at weekly intervals. Each treatment session takes about 20 minutes and you may need between 3-6 treatment sessions, and will be reviewed after 3 to assess the progress.

After shockwave therapy

Many patients experience an improvement in symptoms almost immediately while others take several weeks to respond. You may notice a reddening or swelling of the area with some patients experiencing a brief increase in pain. It may take several weeks to see an overall benefit. It is suggested that your referring GP or surgeon reviews you at 6-8 weeks to assess your overall progress.

How to book Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy at Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital

Call our friendly physiotherapy team on: 0113 388 2064 to find out more and to book. 

Find out more about treatments available with Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital physiotherapy.

Find out more about the Leeds Sports Medicine and Injury Clinic at Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital