Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a state of the art, research-backed, non surgical treatment which is highly effective in resolving a wide range of conditions including:
At Active Step our Musculoskeletal Podiatrists are using ESWT to accelerate treatment outcomes and help our patients get back to achieving their goals whether it is walking the dog, playing a round of golf or running a marathon!
ESWT works by passing low-energy sound waves through the skin all the way to the site of injury. At Active Step we use radial shockwave therapy which penetrates as deep as 5cm, making it ideal for treating tendon and fascia injuries of the foot e.g. plantar fasciopathy and achilles tendinopathy. The sound waves produce a cavitation effect in the tissues a bit like the ripple effect when you throw a stone in a pond and this stimulates the following effects;
- You will experience some pain during the treatment, this is normal and you should be able to tolerate this.
- Following ESWT, you may experience redness, bruising, swelling and numbness to the area. These side effects should resolve within a week, before your next treatment.
- There is a small risk of tendon rupture or ligament rupture and damage to the soft tissue. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have deemed this procedure to be safe, although there are some uncertainties about how well it works. For this reason, every patient will be monitored before and after the treatments to discover how successful the outcome is. Studies have shown there is up to 80% chance that it will be effective.
You should not have ESWT if you are:
- Have had a steroid injection to the injured site within 6 weeks
- Have a blood clotting disorder
- Are taking any antiplatelet or anticoagulant drug therapy e.g. Clopidogrel, Warfarin
- Have been diagnosed with bone cancer
- Have an infection in the vicinity of the area being treated
Our Musculoskeletal Podiatrists will conduct a thorough medical history with every patient prior to administering ESWT to ensure they are suitable for treatment.
The most recent body of clinical evidence has linked the length of time someone has been experiencing painful symptoms to the number of sessions required for a successful treatment outcome. Therefore, for someone who has had pain for around 6 weeks, up to 3 sessions may be recommended. Where symptoms have been present for around 6 months, up to 6 sessions may be recommended. Where a patient has experienced symptoms longer than 6 months, as many as 12 sessions may be required for a successful outcome. Our Musculoskeletal Podiatrists will continuously evaluate your response to treatment at each session.
Treatment sessions are administered a week apart as the effects of ESWT are cumulative.