Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive treatment method that uses high-energy shockwaves to treat chronic soft tissue injuries and certain bone conditions. This therapy has been around since the 1980s, initially developed to treat kidney stones by disintegrating them. Today, this technology is commonly used to treat conditions involving tendons, ligaments, capsules, muscles, and bones. ESWT can be used to treat s plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, and tennis elbow, amongst others musculoskeletal conditions.
What is Shockwave Treatment?
Shockwave treatment is a non-invasive therapy that uses high-energy acoustic waves to treat a variety of medical conditions. This technology works by sending focused shockwaves through the skin and into the affected area, promoting healing and reducing pain. The procedure typically lasts for a few minutes and requires no anaesthesia. It is an outpatient treatment, meaning that patients can return to their daily activities immediately after the procedure. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is a type of shockwave treatment that uses high-energy sound waves to stimulate healing in the body. “Extracorporeal” simply means “outside the body”; therefore, ESWT is a non-invasive treatment modality utilising shockwaves. It is commonly used to alleviate chronic soft tissue injuries, such as tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and tennis elbow. The therapy involves applying the shockwaves directly to the affected area, which promotes increased blood flow, ultimately helping the body to repair damaged tissues. In addition to its use in treating soft tissue injuries, ESWT is also used to address certain bone conditions, such as non-healing fractures and avascular necrosis.
SHOCKWAVE TREATMENT CAN BE USED TO TREAT THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:
- Painful Shoulder
- Tennis Elbow
- Chronic Tendinopathy
- Hip Pain
- Jumper’s Knee
- Shin Pain
- Heel Pain
THE BENEFITS OF ESWT:
- Non-invasive, non surgical, can be done in clinic
- No need for anaesthesia or painkillers
- Minimal risks or side effects
- Quick pain relief, numbing effect
- Stimulates blood circulation
- Stimulates collagen production
- Highly effective in treating chronic conditions
- Breaks up inflammation tissue
- Release of trigger points
- Promotes restoration of tissue and joint mobility
WHEN IS EXTRACORPOREAL SHOCKWAVE THERAPY NEEDED?
Shockwave therapy might be needed for conditions that involve chronic soft tissue injuries and certain bone conditions such as painful shoulder, tennis elbow, chronic tendinopathy, hip pain, jumper’s knee, shin pain, and heel pain. Your healthcare provider will determine if ESWT is appropriate for you based on your medical history and a physical examination.
WHO NEEDS SHOCKWAVE TREATMENT?
ESWT is an option for patients who have chronic pain and have not seen any improvement through traditional treatments such as rest, physical therapy, or medication. This therapy is also considered when surgery is not an option or as a last resort before considering surgical intervention. Patients with plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, hip bursitis, and non-union fractures are examples of conditions that ESWT can address.
HOW IS IT DETERMINED THAT SHOCKWAVE TREATMENT IS NEEDED?
Patients are examined by a qualified physiotherapist or podiatrist to determine if they are eligible for shockwave therapy. At first, a detailed medical history will be looked into to assess the patient’s suitability for the treatment. While shockwave therapy is generally safe and effective when administered by a professional, there are certain circumstances where it may not be advised. For example, it may not be suitable for individuals with a blood clotting disorder, nerve disorder, or bone cancer. Additionally, shockwave treatment is not recommended for pregnant individuals or those who have an infection in the area requiring treatment, metal pins or plates in the area, or have recently received a steroid injection or taken certain painkillers. Patients should consult with their specialists to determine the appropriate course of action.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE SHOCKWAVE TREATMENT?
No special preparation is required before the treatment. However, patients should wear comfortable clothing and bring a list of any medications they are currently taking.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING EXTRACORPOREAL SHOCKWAVE THERAPY?
During an Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy session, a handheld device is used to apply high-energy shockwaves to the affected area. This device is connected to a machine that turns compressed air into sound waves. High or low shockwaves are administered through this hand-held device to encourage healing in damaged muscles, tendons, and joints, or to break up calcifications and scar tissue.
Before the treatment, the therapist will apply ultrasound gel to the skin to help transmit the shockwaves through the skin. When the sound waves hit the tissue, it stimulates blood flow and causes a small amount of inflammation. The inflammation triggers the body’s natural healing response, leading to the repair and regeneration of cells. Additionally, shockwave therapy can help in reducing scar tissue, which contributes to pain and immobility in the surrounding tissues. This breaking down of scar tissue using sound waves can aid with mobility and discomfort.They may also provide instructions on how to prepare for and recover from the treatment.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS SHOULD BE TAKEN AFTER SHOCKWAVE THERAPY?
You can resume your routine activities after each treatment. You can ice the area if there is discomfort. Aggravating activities, involving the treated area, should be avoided if pain is still present. Concurrent therapy such as physiotherapy or use of custom insoles is important to address the underlying biomechanical causes of the injury. The physiotherapist or podiatrist will advise you accordingly after each session.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE EFFECTS OF EXTRACORPOREAL SHOCK WAVE THERAPY?
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is generally considered safe. However, there are some potential side effects. Some common adverse effects include discomfort or pain during the treatment, post-treatment pain, redness, swelling, numbness, bruising, increased sensitivity, nerve pain, burning sensation, amongst others. These are usually short-term effects and will resolve over a couple of days. It is important to discuss any concerns you may have with your physiotherapist or podiatrist and to follow their instructions for post-treatment care.
WHY CHOOSE PHYSIO & SOLE?
At our physiotherapy and podiatry clinic in Singapore, our team of highly experienced clinicians offer our patients a safe and comfortable environment to receive shockwave therapy. We understand that every patient’s needs are unique, which is why our physiotherapists and podiatrists conduct thorough assessments to identify the most suitable evidence-based treatment for your condition. From there, we create a personalised treatment plan that is designed to meet your individual requirements and needs. Our patient-centred approach ensures that we focus on your overall health and wellness, helping you regain function and achieve optimal performance in your daily life and any physical activities you enjoy. We are committed to providing quality care in a compassionate and supportive environment to help you on your journey to recovery.
If you are suffering from any of these conditions, speak to our Physio & Sole Clinic team for more information about shockwave treatment. Simply make an appointment with us today to get started. With clinics situated islandwide in Singapore, you can find one that is convenient for you.
**Shockwave therapy is available in our,Orchard, Jurong, Bukit Timah, Punggol, Yishun, Kembangan and Kovan clinics in Singapore.
PARTNERING INSURANCE PANELS
At our physiotherapy and podiatry clinic in Singapore, we believe that access to quality healthcare is crucial when you need it the most. That’s why we have partnered with four reputable insurance panels to provide coverage for your healthcare needs. Our trusted insurance partners include ADEPT HEALTH,Physio and Sole Clinic x HSBC Life Shield, Raffles Health Insurance, and Integrated Health Plan. With our partnership with these panels, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have access to the healthcare services you need without any additional financial burden. Do call any of our branches to check for your insurance eligibility before your appointment. For more information, refer to our FAQ page.
Frequently Asked Questions About Shockwave Therapy in Singapore
IS SHOCKWAVE TREATMENT PAINFUL?
During the ESWT session, you will feel a strong ‘tapping’ sensation with each shockwave, and the treatment usually lasts 10-15 minutes. The shockwaves may cause slight discomfort or pain but most patients tolerate it well. Minor bruising may develop, but that is temporary and rare.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE AFTER EACH ESWT TREATMENT?
You can resume your routine activities after each treatment. You can ice the area if there is discomfort. Aggravating activities, involving the treated area, should be avoided if pain is still present. Concurrent therapy such as physiotherapy or use of insoles is important to address the underlying biomechanical causes of the injury. The physiotherapist or podiatrist will advise you accordingly after each session.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SHOCKWAVE TREATMENT?
The benefits of shockwave therapy include reducing inflammation, promoting tissue regeneration, and relieving pain. Shockwave therapy is also an alternative treatment option for those who do not want surgery or medication. Shockwave therapy is also being used more and more for sports injuries. If you are considering this treatment, consult a physiotherapist or podiatrist at Physio & Sole Clinic to see if it is right for you.
WHAT IS PHYSIOTHERAPY?
Physiotherapy is a form of rehabilitation that helps to improve movement, reduce pain, and promote strength and flexibility. It is often used to treat conditions such as lower back pain, tennis elbow, and sports injuries. Physiotherapists use a variety of techniques to help their patients recover, including extracorporeal shockwave treatment, manual therapy and post-surgical rehab. In addition, physiotherapists often provide advice on lifestyle changes that can help prevent future injuries.
At Physio & Sole Clinic, we aim to help patients by providing the necessary treatment to help you get back on your feet. Book an appointment for a physiotherapy session in Singapore and our podiatrists will help you with your concerns.
HOW MANY ESWT SESSIONS ARE REQUIRED?
For shockwave treatment, an average of 3-5 weekly sessions may be required for long–lasting healing effects. The therapy is usually spaced out at least three days or up to ten days apart.
Our physiotherapists or podiatrists can provide this treatment for you. To find out more, you can also check out our FAQ page.