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Electro Shockwave Therapy: Benefits & Efficacy

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy, otherwise called Electro Shockwave Therapy is an effective intervention in achieving analgesia, and boosting soft tissue remodelling and repair; particularly in injuries which have plateaued in their recovery (Liao et al, 2018a).  

The number one misconception of Electro Shockwave Therapy is that it involves electric shocks but, really (and fortunately) it is acoustic waves that are delivered to the region of injury. These acoustic impulses are capable of triggering an inflammatory response which sparks the outset of healing processes; including the growth of new vascular networks, increasing proliferation of tendon growth-cells such as tenocytes and fibroblasts and enhancing collagen and protein synthesis which aids in soft tissue remodelling. Additionally, it increases cellular membrane permeability that boosts tissue regeneration and has the ability to disrupt calcification deposits in soft tissues (Liao et al, 2018a).

There are various studies that support and validate the efficacy of Shockwave therapy in restoring function and alleviating pain in lower limb conditions such as tendinosis, tendinopathy, peritendinopathy and enthesopathies (Liao et al, 2018b). Clinically, Shockwave is commonly used as an adjunct treatment for painful conditions including Plantar Fasciitis, Calcaneal Spurs, Achilles Tendonitis, Trochanteric & Calcaneal Bursitis and Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (Borgstorm, Saxena & Tenforde, 2019); and may be used with other interventions such as custom foot orthoses, stretching regimes, foot taping or bracing, footwear modification and activity changes to optimise results.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause for plantar heel pain in the Podiatric-clinical setting, and a very prevalent condition affecting those aged 40 to 70 (Sun, Zhou & Jiang, 2020). According to Roerdink et al. 2017, Shockwave therapy is a safe therapy for clients with Plantar Fasciitis with advantageous short-term and long-term results; and provides considerable relief for 80% of clients (Sun, Zhou & Jiang, 2020). 

Shockwave therapy is a fairly new therapeutic device that can be customised in terms of type, intensity, frequency and duration, and is very much determined case by case. However, in order to achieve best treatment outcomes it is essential that the therapy is applied with the correct parameters and all contraindications excluded to ensure eligibility and safety. Thus, it is vital to consult with trained professionals in the application of Shockwave in order to ensure treatment efficacy. 

All our Podiatrists at Hart & Sole Podiatry are well experienced in Electro Shockwave Therapy. If you’re experiencing foot or lower limb pain, let us assist in your recovery. 

Contact us to book an appointment today

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