What is Extracorporeal Radial Shockwave Therapy?
Extracorporeal Radial Shockwave Therapy is a series of high-energy soundwaves that stimulate the metabolism and enhance blood circulation when applied to areas of pain. A projectile in the handpiece of the device is accelerated by compressed air, and the motion and weight of the projectile produce kinetic energy. This energy is converted to sound energy, and the resulting acoustic pulse is transmitted into the tissue being treated, with the assistance of a conductive gel. The shockwave is a physical sound wave “shock” and not an electric one.
How does it work?
Shockwave energy pulses are focused on areas of damaged tissue and pain, creating micro-cavitation bubbles. These bubbles in turn create a force that penetrates tissue and produces an inflammatory response. Stimulating the cells related to connective tissue and bone healing increases metabolic activity around the treatment site to accelerate the healing process.
Shockwave Therapy is used to treat:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Heel Spurs
- Tennis Elbow
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Calcific Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
- Achilles Tendinitis
- Trigger Point Therapy
- Jumpers Knee
- Stress Fractures
- Chronic cervical and lumbar back pain
- Elbow pain
- Frozen shoulder
- Hamstring issues
- Hip Pain
- Knee Pain
- Neck Pain
- Overuse injuries
- Scar tissue treatment
- Shin Splints
- Shoulder pain
- Stress Fractures
- Tendon Injuries
- Sports Injuries
What are the benefits of Shockwave Treatment?
This therapy is non-invasive and carries no risk of infection or scarring. It is cost-effective and affordable. It stimulates the body’s natural self-healing process. There may be an immediate reduction of pain and improved ease of movement. Side effects are minor. Shockwave therapy may also eliminate your need for surgery.
Can anyone have this treatment?
Shockwave treatments are only recommended for adults between the ages of 18 and 65 years.
Young children, pregnant women, patients with pacemakers, patients taking anticoagulants, or patients being treated for cancer are not permitted to have this therapy. Please see the consent form for a complete list of contraindications and side effects.
How long does the treatment last?
2000 shocks are administered per session, which last approximately 5 minutes.
How many treatments will I need?
Normally three treatments are necessary, at weekly intervals.
How much does it cost?
Individual treatments cost $89 each. We offer a 5% discount on pre-paid packages of 3 treatments, which is the minimum number of visits needed to determine if the treatment is effective.
Is Shockwave Therapy covered by my insurance?
You will need to ask your extended health benefits provider about the details of your coverage. This may be Alberta Blue Cross, a benefits plan provided by your employer, or an independent coverage plan. Please note, we do not direct bill insurance companies for treatment. You are responsible for payment at the time of treatment, and a receipt will be issued to you for submission to your insurer for reimbursement.
What do I wear during a treatment?
This will depend on the area of your body being treated. For ease of access to lower body areas, bring a pair of shorts to wear during treatment. For upper body areas, a tank-top or sports bra would be appropriate. The Shockwave needs to be applied directly to the skin and not through clothing.
Who performs the treatment?
You may book your appointment with your usual chiropractor, either Dr. Collin Watson or Dr. Ron Barlot. Both are qualified to administer the treatment.
Does the treatment hurt?
Treatment may be uncomfortable but most people are able to tolerate it. Adjustments on the machine can be made to decrease or increase the pressure you feel to an appropriate comfort level while still ensuring you receive the full benefit of the Shockwave therapy.
Will it hurt after the treatment?
There may be no immediate pain, but some discomfort may be experienced for a few hours after the treatment.
What should I do if I am in pain after the treatment?
The shockwave will trigger an inflammatory response, which is the body’s natural process of healing. For this reason, do not use anti-inflammatory medications. Do not use ice. The pain should subside within 24-48 hours. Use Tylenol if necessary, provided you have no trouble with this medication.
What if it feels good after the treatment?
Even if it feels good, we recommend decreased activity for 48 hours following the treatment.
What is the success rate of this kind of treatment?
Most patients experience beneficial effects after 1 or 2 treatments, with some reporting immediate pain relief. Clinical studies indicate success rates at around 90% (patients reporting being pain-free or having significant reductions in pain levels).
What if it doesn’t work for me?
Short-term effects should be noticeable soon after the first 1 to 3 treatments. Long-term benefits of this treatment may take up to 3-4 months. If after the third treatment there has not been any marked improvement, you should be reassessed by your chiropractor for further treatment options.