The specific term is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), but it’s commonly referred to as shockwave. It was developed in the 1980’s – and over time has been heavily researched in animals and humans to be a mainstay in the modern treatment of various conditions.
WHAT IS A SHOCKWAVE?
Shockwaves are sound waves, which have physical characteristics that allows them to impart a therapeutic effect.
The waves produced by a shockwave device are nonlinear, high pressure wave, followed by a low pressure wave, all over a very short duration (about 10 milliseconds).
The overall effect creates positive and negative waves. The positive wave produces a mechanical force whereas the negative phase generates a cavitation and gas bubbles that implode at high speeds .
HOW DOES SHOCKWAVE WORK?
There are different protocols and forms of shockwave, and based on the condition, specifics may vary.
Research shows that Shockwave can be effective in managing a wide range of conditions like:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Bone and Heel spurs
- Calcific tendonitis
- Osteoarthritis of the knee
- Chronic Tennis Elbow
- Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis
- Kidney stones
- Achilles Tendinitis
- Greater trochanteric pain syndrome
- Non-healing fractures
Shockwave works through a few mechanisms:
- Resolved edema, swelling and inflammatory cell infiltration
- Induce TGF-B1 and IGF-1  which are powerful anti-inflammatory molecules
- Promote increase blood flow and Revascularization
- Break down of faulty bone formation, as found in bone spurs 
Shockwave at Absolute Health and Wellness
Shockwave can be a helpful tool to use in the management of various conditions. At Absolute Health and Wellness, all patients are given a thorough assessment (1-hr in length) in which case a physiotherapist or chiropractor will make a diagnosis. Treatment will involve a combination of things such as manual therapies, joint mobilizations or manipulations, exercise, stretching or in some cases shockwave.
Your physio, chiropractors, massage therapist or naturopathic doctor can all administer your shockwave treatment, so if you happen to have benefits shockwave treatment can fall under your usual benefit allotments for those respective practitioners.
Interested in learning more?
Read on in our series of articles on Muskuloskeletal Conditions!
About the Author - Sonia Gashgarian
Sonia Gashgarian is a registered physiotherapist who graduated with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto. Prior to this she completed her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with Honours from the University of Waterloo. Sonia has completed courses in sports taping and basic kinesio-taping, as well as the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy and Mulligan Concept. She also has her APTEI Acupuncture and Dry Needling Certification.
Sonia uses a variety of treatment techniques to help clients feel better and return to their regular activities as soon as possible. Her individualized treatments may include the following: education, joint mobilizations, exercise prescription, soft tissue release, trigger point release, taping, acupuncture and dry needling, cupping, and Gua Sha.
To book in please call us at (519) 442-2206 or click here.