What is Shockwave Therapy?


Are you recovering from an injury or experiencing chronic pain and looking for natural relief?

Extracorporeal Shockwave therapy is a groundbreaking modality that allows our practitioners to deliver natural pain relief using the body’s own healing abilities.

Lilyfield Physio is pleased to be one of only a few providers of Shockwave therapy in Sydney and we would like to explain this innovative treatment and the transformative results Shockwave Therapy can provide.

What Is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy is an evidenced-based treatment modality that has been shown to assist in tissue regeneration and repair, as well as provide pain relief in chronic conditions.

In Shockwave therapy treatment, the shockwave device delivers acoustic shock waves that penetrate the skin, helping the patient by depleting the number of pain mediators emanating from nerve endings.

The shock waves also travel through the skin to break down targeted tissue, stimulate tissue repair, and kick-start the body’s natural healing mechanisms.

How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?

The shockwave therapy machine works by administering an acoustic shock. These acoustic waves help reduce pain and stimulate natural tissue repair mechanisms.

Extracorporeal shock waves work on several levels. Initially, pain is reduced by hyperstimulation anaesthesia, a process that diminishes nerve pain signals relayed to the brain.

Apart from diminishing pain, shockwave therapy promotes physical repair and regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues. For more information on musculoskeletal treatment, check out the articles by Next Wave Therapy. Calcified and damaged tissue breaks down as a response to the high-pressure waves, allowing natural healing with little discomfort.

Studies have shown that shockwave therapy works by stimulating the repair of tendons and bones, while also improving blood supply to the affected area.

Shockwave therapy can help:

  • Promote the formation of new blood vessels
  • Reverse chronic inflammation
  • Stimulate collagen production
  • Break up calcified fibroblasts
  • Disperse “Substance P”, a neurotransmitter that sends pain information
  • Release trigger points

Benefits of Shockwave Therapy

As Physiotherapists, we try to avoid invasive therapies such as injection therapy and surgery. Shockwave Therapy is an important alternative to invasive treatments, it is extremely effective to treat chronic tendon conditions or joints suffered by active people.

Shockwave Therapy can be used soon after the occurrence of injury to stimulate immediate and ongoing repair, as well as for the healing of older injuries where calcification or damage to tissue is evident.

Benefits of shockwave therapy include:

  • Fewer side effects than alternative treatments
  • Non-invasive
  • Safe and effective
  • Works well for a number of injuries and conditions, including conditions that have failed to respond to traditional treatments
  • Reduces the need to take pain relief medication

Some of the more common injuries that benefit from shockwave therapy include:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Achilles Tendinopathy or tendon injury
  • Supraspinatus Calcification
  • Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Shoulder tendonitis
  • Lateral Hip Pain
  • Adductor (Groin) pain
  • Heel spurs
  • Jumper’s knee
  • Patella Tendinopathy
  • Golfers / Tennis Elbow (Lateral/Medial Epicondylitis)
  • Running injury
  • Soccer injury

What Is Shock Wave Therapy Treatment Like?

If you undergo shock wave therapy, your treatment sesson will involve three simple steps:

Step 1. Location of the Treatment Area

Since the affected area is often painful to the touch, your Physio can easily (and gently) use palpation to locate the troublesome tendon or joint area requiring treatment.

Step 2. Gel Application

Once the area of treatment is pinpointed, your physio will apply the necessary amount of gel. This gel transfers the acoustic waves, ensuring successful treatment.

Step 3. Therapy Application

The Shockwave applicator is held lightly against the skin to deliver the acoustic waves. Treatment typically only takes around 5 to 10 minutes.

How Many Times Will I Need Shockwave Therapy?

Following treatment, natural healing of the body will continue for several months. Many patients report noticeable relief of major symptoms immediately after shockwave therapy.

At Lilyfield Physiotherapy, we often combine Shockwave Therapy with an appropriate graduated exercise program. Research indicates Shockwave Therapy administered in conjunction with rehabilitation is especially effective in dealing with chronic pain injuries.

This dual approach amplifies results and allows you to reduce chronic pain or regain function after an injury as fast as possible.

For optimum results, we recommend weekly shock therapy treatments for 3 to 6 weeks.

Is Shockwave Therapy Painful?

Shockwave therapy is a safe, non-invasive treatment. There are no side effects and the treatment only causes minor discomfort.

Ready to start moving again?