Extra Corporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ECSWT)
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ECSWT) is a procedure used to specifically treat tendon injuries, such as Achilles tendinopathy (a condition causing pain, swelling and weakness to the Achilles tendon) and plantar fasciitis (an inflammatory condition of the sole of the foot, causing pain and discomfort).
ECSWT involves passing low-energy mechanical shock wave through targeted body tissues in order to promote blood flow to damaged tissues and desensitise nerve endings. Increasing blood flow to injured areas of the body speeds up healing and reduces inflammation and pain.
Before the procedure, we will discuss whether local anaesthetic will be necessary, as with some ECSWT techniques, the acoustic shockwaves may be painful. We will then use an ultrasound wand placed over the surface of your skin. Sonic waves will then pass from the ultrasound probe through the surface skin layers to agitate and stimulate the damaged soft tissue.
The procedure will only take a few minutes, and depending on the extent of the damage, you may be asked to return for multiple sessions.
The effectiveness of extra-corporeal shock wave therapy for plantar heel pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2005;22(6):19. Wang CJ. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy in musculoskeletal disorders. J Orthop Surg Res. 2012;7:11