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Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a procedure where shock waves are passed through the skin to the injured part of the body, using a special device. This speeds up your body’s healing process.
Shockwave therapy is usually used to treat painful tendons like the Achilles tendon, or the plantar fascia in the foot. They may be used on other structures too.
Shockwave therapy is offered to patients who have not responded well enough to other treatments such as physiotherapy, orthotics (insoles or leg braces), rest, steroid injection, ice therapy and pain relief. It is a minimally invasive treatment that is carried out on an outpatient basis, which means that you can go home the same day. ESWT can offer relief from pain and other symptoms.
The clinician will put some ultrasound gel on the injured area and then place the hand piece of the device on the gel. The ESWT is delivered using this hand piece – it delivers compressed air pulses through the ultrasound gel. Each treatment will take approximately five minutes.
After the treatment you will be able to get up and walk straight away. If you do experience discomfort following the shockwave treatment you can take over the counter painkillers (such as paracetamol) but don’t take anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) and ice therapy, as these can interfere with the body’s healing process
You will be able to return to your usual activities straight away and can return to work immediately. However, we advise you not to undertake any strenuous, pain-provoking activity or high-impact exercise for 48 hours following the procedure.