Someone being treated using extracorporeal shockwave treatment Central Health Physiotherapy

What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)?

Shockwave therapy is an evidence-based procedure. It uses audible high-energy soundwaves passed through the skin to an injured tendon.

Shockwaves have been used in medicine to break down kidney stones. More recently in musculoskeletal medicine they are used to stimulate the metabolism and blood circulation to damaged tissue to encourage it to regenerate and heal.

Will shockwave therapy help me?

Most tendon problems throughout the body will benefit from shockwave therapy. The most common are:

  • Plantar fasciitis/heel-pain
  • Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Patella Tendinopathy
  • Adductor Tendinopathy
  • Hamstring Tendinopathy
  • Glute Tendinopathy/Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome
  • De Quervains Tenosynovitis
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Golfers Elbow
  • Shoulder/Rotator Cuff Tendinopathies including Calcific Tendinitis

What does shockwave therapy treatment involve?

You will be asked to lie down on a plinth in a comfortable position. The  therapist will apply ultrasound gel to the treatment head and apply it to the painful tendon. The hand piece will then deliver compressed air pulses through the gel. The pressure you feel will be gradually increased until it is within a set-range taking into account your specific pain tolerance. The treatment will last for approximately 15-30 mins. During treatment our therapist may switch to a larger treatment head. This is to release tension in the muscles surrounding the painful tendon.

What are the benefits of shockwave therapy?

ESWT speeds up the body’s natural healing process. The treatment is minimally-invasive. Treatment is as an outpatient and is a realistic alternative to surgery. It can offer relief from pain and other symptoms. It can also be supplimentary to your Physiotherapy treatment. 60-80% of patients report significant improvement in their symptoms after 3 sessions of treatment.

How many treatments will I require?

You will usually need a course of 3-5 treatments. Treatments will take place 7-10 days apart.

Will my insurance cover shockwave therapy?

Insurance companies including BUPA and AXA PPP will cover some sessions of ESWT. Contact them directly for more information and to get a pre-authorisation code for treatment.

If your cover is with another provider. You may wish to liaise with them to establish if they will fund your shockwave therapy treatment.

What is the cost of shockwave therapy in London?

If your insurance company will not cover the costs of your shockwave therapy treatment, we offer competitively priced one off treatments. Or for more value we offer packages of 3 and 5 treatments.

What happens following ESWT?

You will be able to get up, leave the clinic and return to your normal activities immediately following the session. If you are experiencing an increase in pain, take some over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol. But not anti-inflammatories. Refrain from high-intensity or aggravating activities for the first 48 hours. Your physiotherapist will advise you on when is best to resume your home exercise programme.

We accept self-referrals, referrals from physiotherapists and consultants/doctors.  For further information or to book an appointment, please email us or call 020 7404 6343.

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