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Shockwave Treatment For Achilles Tendinopathy

Feb 25, 2021

Shockwave Treatment For Achilles Tendinopathy

Feb 25, 2021

Shockwave is prescribed as part of the treatment for Achilles tendinopathy. In this article, we will discuss how it works and what research says about shockwave (EWST) as a treatment modality.

1.What is shockwave therapy?
2.Does the research support its use for Achilles tendinopathy?
3.When, in my experience, you may find benefit from using shockwave for treating your Achilles pain

What is shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy uses soundwaves to treat the injured area. The machine consists of a “PROBE” with a small metal piece that moves exceptionally quickly backwards and forwards inside the probe. As this piece of metal repeatedly crashes into the gun’s metal point, it creates a (very) loud sound wave.

The clinician will usually move the point of the gun over the painful area in your tendon. Shockwave has been shown to cause a long-lasting reduction in pain in a wide variety of soft tissue injuries.

Does the research support its use for Achilles tendinopathy?

Yes, there are plenty of studies that show that shockwave therapy can provide long term pain relief for Achilles tendinopathy (insertional and mid-portion).

There are very few randomized controlled trials (where they test the effect of shockwave compared to other treatments or just not doing anything) and the available ones are of relatively poor quality or compare shockwave treatment to treatments that we know aren’t ideal – eccentric exercise for insertional Achilles tendinopathy for instance.

When, in my experience, you may find benefit from using shockwave for treating your Achilles pain?

I’ve often used shockwave combined with a progressive strength training programme for my patients with Achilles tendinopathy. In my experience, it has an exquisite long-lasting pain dulling effect, which makes it especially useful for patients where the pain is preventing them from getting on with their rehab.

One of the disadvantages of it is the costs involved. It is not cheap, and you usually require between 3 and 6 sessions. It’s a safe procedure but can cause some pain and irritation for a few days after treatment.

Let me know if you have any questions or need any advice about your tendon pain. Need more help with your Achilles injury? You are welcome to contact us for an assessment of your injury and a tailored treatment plan. Book your shockwave treatment in London now!

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