More commonly referred to as shockwave therapy, radial shockwave therapy, treats a wide range of hard to treat soft tissue injuries, including plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff syndrome and tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis). It provides effective relief, especially for those hard to treat chronic cases where many other treatment techniques have failed.
Radial shockwave therapy does not provide electrical shocks to your skin but emits radial pulse waves into your tissues. A lightweight wand houses a compressed air chamber that propels a projectile back and forth to the applicator's tip. It is the projectile's energy hitting the applicator tip, which makes the radial pulse waves.
The radial pulse waves travel 3 to 4 cm into the tissue. The transmission of radial waves into the target tissue has several physiological effects. The first effect is pain relief by releasing natural pain killers from the central nervous system. Second is increased cellular metabolism, and the third physiological effect is the production of new blood vessels. More blood to the area promotes healing and tissue regeneration.
The treatment lasts 3-5 minutes per area. Your therapist may treat several sites in one session to get the most significant therapeutic effect.
Radial shockwave therapy feels like a mildly uncomfortable to a more intense oscillating pressure. Your therapist can alter the settings to your comfort level. Immediately after treatment, you may have some warmth and redness in the area due to increased blood circulation. Most patients report decreased pain levels and increased range of motion right after treatment as well. Some soreness may occur in the next 1-2 days following treatment.
We recommend a trail five sessions, 4-7 days apart. Capitalize on the period between treatments to increase your range of motion through prescribed mobility work and rehabilitative exercises.