Shockwave Therapy is for great for treating long term heel, Achilles and tendon pain in patients for all ages. Watch the video below to learn a little more and read on for the finer details.


What is Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is used to treat your long-standing tendon and muscle problems. We have a Radial Shockwave machine in the clinic which is perfect for treating your lower leg. It creates an acoustic shockwave that penetrates the body to provide many benefits. 

These benefits include:

  • Pain reduction: The patient experiences a reduction of pain, explained by the Gate Control theory. Intensive pulses from the transmitter into the tissues create a strong nociceptor activation of the A-β fibers, which affect interneurons that inhibit the transmission of the pain signals.
  • Increased metabolism: Shockwaves influence the tissues on a cellular level. The chemical environment of the cells is affected by free radicals promoting the release of pain and inflammatory inhibiting substances.
  • Revascularization: Repeated shockwaves to the affected area create a revascularization effect, with the new blood flow in the area promoting tissue healing and regeneration.
  • Reduced muscle tone: The “vicious circle”, as well as the strong pathological association between pain and muscle tone, will be broken and lead to restoring a normalized muscular tone.

    What conditions can it be use for?

    This can be used on a range of soft tissue issues in the foot, but the ones we will be most commonly use the shockwave for will be:

  • Plantar Heel Pain (plantar fasciitis)
  • Achilles Tendon issues (mid portion and insertional Achilles Tendinopathies)
  • Shin Splints
  • Shockwave tends to work best on chronic pain (where the pain has been going on for longer than 6 weeks).

    So how does it work

    When you have an overuse injury, your tendon is often damaged because of microscopic tears which cause inflammation and sometimes scar tissue, adhesion or calcifications. This can restrict physiological function and eventually develops into pain. These kinds of conditions are often resilient to the body’s natural healing methods. With shockwave therapy treatment we deliver energy into the tissue, creating microscopic injuries and acute trauma in the tissue. This creates new blood vessels and activates the body’s natural healing. 


    Is the treatment painful

    We are generally working on painful areas while performing the treatment, so it is expected that you will experience some pain during your treatment . The podiatrist will be working with you to ensure that the treatment works within your pain threshold by adjusting the pressure of the shockwaves.


    What will you experience after the treatment

    You will generally feel better straight after treatment. It is believed that shockwave has an analgesic effect for about 48 hours post procedure. Your pain may return over this period, we are looking for a gradual improvement in your overall pain over the course of your treatments 


    Are there side effects

    Yes, there can be some side effects to treatment. These will generally appear with the first 2 days post treatment and fade within 3-5 days.  These include:

  • Redness of the skin at the application site
  • Swelling
  • Possible bruising
  • Localised discomfort to the treatment area
  • Treatment will not be repeated with a patient until the side effects have subsided.


    Are there any people that aren’t suitable for treatment

    There are a small number of people that are not suitable for treatment

  • People taking strong anticoagulants (blood thinners) or with blood clotting disorders
  • Malignant cancers

    Is this a standalone treatment

    No, this is a treatment modality to be added on to other treatments, e.g. if you have plantar heel pain (plantar fasciitis) they will still need to have other treatments like exercises, strapping and/or orthotics. 


    The number of session required

    It normally take 3-6 sessions to achieve best results. We will be assessing how patients are going at the 3rd visit and deciding if they need another group of sessions.. These visits can occur between 5 – 10 days apart.