Podcast 001: Ever Wondered What Shockwave Therapy is All About?

Introduction to Shockwave Therapy with Bruce Paulik, Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and ISMST Internationally-Certified Shockwave Therapy Practitioner.

Shockwave Therapy is an evidence-based treatment for musculoskeletal pain and injury. It is a relatively recent addition to Australian physiotherapy practice.

Shockwave therapy has been used widely in Europe for more than 10 years and has significant research evidence to support its effectiveness. There is strong clinical research evidence that it benefits: 

  • Plantar fasciitis / heel spurs
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Patella tendinopathy
  • Hamstring tendinopathy
  • Tennis or golfers’ elbow
  • Calcific tendinopathy of the shoulder
  • Gluteal tendinopathy / bursitis
  • Shin splints, anterior compartment syndrome
  • Stress fractures 
  • Chronic scar tissue
  • Frozen shoulder

Shockwave Therapy has also been shown to resolve pain in soft tissue that has previously been injured and healed but remains tightened, scarred and painful.

What to expect when receiving Shockwave Therapy
Shockwave Therapy is non-invasive. A small amount of ultrasound gel is applied to the skin, then a hand-held device is held to the skin. The device delivers an acoustic pressure wave (much like a soundwave) to the affected tissue.

The sensation may be slightly uncomfortable, but should not hurt. If it does hurt, tell your practitioner and they will reduce the intensity. Over time, your tolerance of the treatment is likely to build and you’ll receive larger ‘doses’.

Treatment time will be between five and seven minutes within your standard physiotherapy consultation. Each treatment session is generally a week apart.

Shockwave Therapy will be used to complement other exercises and treatments prescribed by your practitioner.

Treatment length varies depending on injury severity
Generally most people feel reduced pain after the first session. This may last for 24 hours, and each subsequent treatment results in longer pain-free periods until all pain is resolved.

The number of treatments needed to achieve complete resolution of your pain depends on the severity of your injury and how long the injury has existed. For example plantar fasciitis, or heel pain, that has recently developed may need five sessions to resolve. Achilles problems that have existed for many years may need to be treated over a number of months.

Shockwave Therapy stimulates the body’s healing process
Shockwave Therapy activates the body’s self-healing capabilities through:

  • New blood vessel formation
  • Reversal of chronic inflammation
  • Stimulation of fibroblast cells to resume the healing process
  • Dispersal of pain mediators
  • Release of trigger points in muscles

Qualifications of Shockwave Therapy practitioners
To ensure you receive safe, effective Shockwave Therapy, we recommend you see practitioners that are fully-qualified physiotherapists. Ideally practitioners should also have completed the international training program, however due to the expense, this may not always be possible. In these situations, finding experienced physiotherapists with a special interest in Shockwave Therapy is likely to mean you will receive effective treatment.

You don’t need a doctor’s referral for Shockwave Therapy
If you think Shockwave Therapy may benefit you, please call HFRC on 9386 9961 to make an appointment. Or you can click here to book online.

Your initial appointment with a physiotherapist will determine whether your injury is likely to respond to Shockwave Therapy and if so, the first shockwave treatment will be provided.

Podcast interview with Bruce Paulik
Click on the play button below to hear Bruce Paulik, HFRC’s internationally-accredited shockwave therapy expert, tell you all about this effective treatment.

Bruce Paulik explains Shockwave Therapy
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