TREATMENT FOR PERSISTENT TENDON PAIN
SHOCK WAVE THERAPY (SWT)
Radial shock wave therapy (SWT) is an effective and safe, non-invasive option for the treatment of painful tendons. This form of treatment was developed from other medical indications (treating kidney stones) and is widely used in many countries for treatment of tendon and other soft tissue conditions. There are several sports medicine clinics here in New Zealand using SWT in the treatment of recalcitrant tendon pain.
Radial shockwaves are high energy soundwaves transmitted from a probe held against and passing through the skin, moving to the underlying tissues. This is believed to increase both blood flow and metabolic activity around the site of pain, stimulating a healing cascade. It can reduce pain by inhibiting the local afferent pain-receptor function.
SWT can therefore reduce your pain from the affected tendon, enhance your body’s natural healing response, and to allow you to continue rehabilitation exercises.
COMMON CONDITIONS SWT CAN BE USED TO TREAT:
Clinical studies have shown improvement of symptoms in the following conditions:
· Plantar Fascia pain: ligament across the bottom of the foot
· Calcific Tendinopathy -rotator cuff/supraspinatous tendon
· Tennis/Golfer’s elbow -common flexor origin and common extensor origin tendinopathy
· Jumper’s knee -patella tendinopathy
· Achilles tendinopathy
· Lateral hip pain -gluteal tendinopathy
ABOUT THE TREATMENT:
After a simple examination of the affected area, shockwaves are applied via a handpiece held against the skin. The treatment is aimed to cause some discomfort, which indicates correct targeting of the affected tissue. The treatment sessions are of about 5 minutes duration. Many people report a cumulative reduction in pain with each treatment, beginning after the first treatment. For most conditions you will receive 3-5 treatments at weekly intervals.
AFTER THE TREATMENT:
Some people occasionally report some soreness, which may intensify on the night of treatment. Simple analgesia and icing may be required to control this pain. There may also be some minor bruising in the treatment area. You should rest from aggravating activities for 2-3 days after treatment, as your doctor will discuss. Usual rehabilitation exercises may be continued.
There may be a reason that SWT is inappropriate for you. SWT should be avoided in the following conditions:
· Bleeding and blood coagulation disorders, or blood-thinning medications.
· Skin wound or acute inflammation in treatment area.
· Tumour in treatment area.
· Corticosteroid injection in the area <6 weeks
· Disturbed neural/sensory function in the local area (eg: diabetes)
· Some implantable devices with battery, eg: pacemaker
HOW DO I ARRANGE SWT:
Direct referral: We accept direct referral for SWT treatment from other specialist services, such as orthopaedic surgeons and rheumatologists. Ask them to arrange a referral, then you will be contacted for a direct booking for the procedure.
New patients: Please call to arrange a consultation to discuss whether SWT is right for you. In this appointment we will confirm the diagnosis and discuss treatment options, and determine whether SWT is right for you. For this initial consultation to be covered by ACC or your private insurer, a written referral from your primary health care provider (eg: GP, physiotherapist, podiatrist) is required. SWT treatment is not covered by ACC.