Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ECSWT)

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy

ECSWT is a revolutionary technology that is being used widely by Sports Physicians & Orthopaedic Surgeons to treat and cure painful resistant tendinopathies. This is a very successful 2nd line treatment in patients who fail to respond to appropriate physiotherapy. This treatment modality delivers impulses of energy targeted to specific damaged tissues within the abnormal tendon. This treatment initiates an inflammation-like reaction which increases the local blood circulation and metabolism which can accelerate the body’s own healing process. The shock wave treatment also helps to break down injured tissue and calcification.

View the Vale Healthcare information page: http://www.vale-healthcare.com/shockwave-therapy-for-tendonitis/

How ECSWT works

The shockwaves that are produced by the Swiss DolorClast machine are generated by a projectile that is propelled at high speed by compressed air inside a hand-held applicator. When the applicator is placed on the surface of the skin – together with a ‘coupling medium’ – the impulses are delivered through the skin as a shockwave that spreads inside the injured tissue as an aspherical ‘radial’ wave. These radial shockwaves initiate an inflammation-like response in the injured tissue that is being treated. This prompts the body to respond naturally by increasing blood circulation, the number of blood vessels and therefore metabolism in the injured tissue. This accelerates the body’s natural healing process by increasing cell generation and dissolving calcium deposits.

Conditions Recommended for treatment with ECSWT

Calcific Tendonitis Shoulder
Trochanteric bursitis (Lateral hip pain)
Patella Tendinopathy
Tennis & Golfer’s Elbow
Achilles Tendinopathy
Plantar Fascitis
Medial Tibial Periostitis (shin splints)

What happens during ESWT

Usually 3-5 treatments are performed at weekly intervals by Dr Geoff Davies at the Cardiff Bay Clinic by appointment. Each treatment session takes about 20 mins. A previous clinical assessment by Dr Davies is usually required to ensure that the diagnosis is correct and that this treatment is the most appropriate for your condition. Usually a diagnostic ultrasound or MRI will be needed prior to effective treatment.

Is ESWT treatment covered by private medical insurance

As ECSWT is recommended by NICE most private medical insurers will cover such treatment. However, it is essential that patients consult their insurance companies and obtain written confirmation that they will be covered prior to their ECSWT appointment. Self-funding packages are also available. Please contact Cardiff Bay Clinic for further information.

What can I expect after a shock-wave treatment

[Soft Break]Many patients experience an improvement in symptoms almost immediately while others take several weeks to respond. There may be a transient reddening or swelling of the area with some patients experiencing a brief increase in pain. It may take several weeks to see an overall benefit. Usually 3 treatments are required but occasional resistant cases may require 5.

NICE Recommendations

Patient Information Leaflet