Radial Shockwave Therapy

As part of the cutting edge treatments on offer at our practice, we now also offer Radial Shockwave Therapy and have one of the top branded international machines - the Chattanooga Intelect RPW - all the way from California! Keep on reading for more information on this therapy or contact us for more information or links to academic studies of specific conditions.

What is Radial Shockwave?

Radial Shockwave is also known as Radial Pressure Wave or Extracorporeal Shockwave and is a revolutionary form of treatment being used for chronic tendinopathies, insertional tendinopathies and myofascial pain/fibrosis. The shockwave unit uses acoustic energy in the form of long wave shock pulses which are transmitted into the tissues being treated and can penetrate to a depth of 1-4cm. Shockwave treatment is pro-inflammatory and increases circulation to the treatment area as well as stimulating healing and tissue regeneration. It also assists in breaking down any weak or abnormal tissue (including calcifications).

Shockwave is especially effective when treating chronic tendon injuries, as healing has stopped due to poor circulation and the tendon shows degeneration as opposed to inflammation (as in acute injuries).

Radial Shockwave Therapy has been well researched over the last 5 years, and although it is a relatively new treatment it has shown exceptional results in a variety of conditions.

What Conditions Does it Treat?

Although Radial Shockwave Therapy can be used to treat many conditions, it is most effective with the following:

  • Plantar Fasciitis (including calcaneal spur)
  • Achilles Tendinopathy (chronic)
  • Shin Splints
  • Patella Tendinopathy
  • Osgood Schlatter’s Disease
  • Severs Disease
  • Iliotibial band friction syndrome (ITB/runner’s knee)
  • Trochanteric Insertional Tendinopathy
  • Calcific Tendinitis of the shoulder
  • Rotator Cuff Syndrome
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
  • Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow)
  • Finger tendinopathies
  • Chronic Muscle Pain
  • Fibrosis

What are the side effects of the treatment?

During the treatment, you should experience some pain or discomfort. (The purpose of the treatment is to cause inflammation and promote healing in the tissue). You may also experience pain, swelling, bruising or redness for 1-3 days after treatment. There are no known long term side effects of Radial Shockwave Therapy.

How many sessions will I need?

You will usually need between 3 and 6 treatments with Radial Shockwave Therapy but may even start to feel results as soon as after the second treatment. The healing and regeneration will continue even after the final treatment session and improvements can still be noted months after your last treatment.

What are the contraindications?

There are very few contraindications, but please make your Physiotherapist is aware of the following so that we can take the necessary precautions:

  • Pregnancy
  • Haemophilia or other coagulation disorders
  • Currently on anticoagulant medication
  • Acute Inflammation or Infection
  • Polyneuropathy (in treatment area)
  • Cortisone Treatment (must wait 6 weeks after injection)
  • Risk of Haemorrhage
  • Malignant or undiagnosed Tumours
  • Implants and areas where implants have been removed
  • Severe Arterial Obstructions
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis, Phlebitis or Varices
  • Systemic or local infection

To book your Radial Shockwave session, contact us.

*Please note that shockwave therapy has a recognised procedure code (72204) and has been approved by most the medical aids. It, however, remains your responsibility to check how you are covered with your medical aid directly.