What is Shockwave?
Shockwave Therapy also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), is considered to be a non-invasive procedure that produces single acoustic intense pressure waves to microscopically cause interstitial and extracellular biological responses resulting in;
- decreased pain by stimulating analgesia to block the gate control mechanism
- tissue regeneration and healing
- increasing growth factors at the musculo-tendon and tendon-bone junctions
- neovascularisation which is formation of new blood vessels to increase blood supply
- suppressing nociceptor/pain receptors
How will I know if Shockwave is right for me?
Please be advised that Shockwave Therapy is NOT for everyone, therefore you will be required to have an Osteopathic consult with one of our experienced Practitioners to determine whether or not this type of treatment protocol is a safe and suitable treatment option for your injury. Your qualified Osteopath will take a thorough history, perform a comprehensive exam and diagnose your injury before Shockwave Therapy can be considered.
What happens in a treatment?
Treatment of Shockwave will generally be aimed in three regions of your injury.
1: Surrounding muscle fibres
2: Site of the tendon origin/insertion
3: Myofascial trigger points
Your qualified Osteopath will start the treatment with a V-Actor applicator to gently massage and relax the region, this will also help you ease into the shockwaves. This will then be followed on with the application of the shockwaves with the D-Actor applicator along the surrounding muscles to increase blood flow, followed on to the site of the tendon and then finally along any myofascial trigger points.
Does it hurt during the treatment?
Initially you will feel some intense discomfort which is generally well tolerated. This should fade throughout the treatment as the region becomes desensitised. Rest assure that this response is completely normal. The shockwaves being applied are high energy acoustic waves – think of it like high amplitudes of pressure and vibration jumping back and forth to the region of your pain. This causes increased blood flow and stimulates inflammation hence causing you discomfort and pain.
Your Practitioner will constantly ask for your feedback and if necessary will drop the pressure down or cease treatment immediately if you feel too much pain.
Will it hurt afterwards and are there any side effects?
You should feel less pain immediately after compared to during the treatment session. This is because acoustic waves generated by Shockwave therapy has been proven to inhibit inflammatory oedema and decrease pain mediators (substance P) resulting in less pain.
Side effects post treatment may include;
- Mild discomfort over the next 24-72 hours
- Mild skin bruising
- Mild skin reddening
- Mild swelling
How long does a treatment last?
A treatment will last around 5-7 minutes. Approximately 4000 waves will be applied on average, depending on the region being treated.
How many treatments will I need?
We highly recommend that you will require any where between 3-6 Shockwave sessions, this is dependent on the individual and their injury. However in saying that, you should start to feel a difference shortly after your first few treatments.
Will I still need Osteopathic treatment throughout the course of my Shockwave therapy?
We highly recommend that you consult one of our experienced Practitioners for an Osteopathic treatment before your initial Shockwave session and once more after your last Shockwave session for a complete comprehensive review.
What should I do after a shockwave treatment?
Much like an Osteopathic treatment we advise patients to go home and rest. Avoid doing too much or part taking in high impact or gym activities post treatment. You will need to give your body time to adjust and recover from the Shockwave treatment. You may apply ice initially to help with the inflammation, then apply heat to relax the surrounding musculature.
Is Shockwave covered by Medicare or Private Health insurance?
Unfortunately Shockwave sessions performed by our Osteopaths are not covered through Medicare or Private Health. You will be required to pay your own out of pocket expenses for the course of your Shockwave treatment. Your separate Osteopathic consult can still be covered by Medicare or Private Health if you are eligible. Call us on 03 9704 7244 for more information on pricing.