What is Shock Wave Therapy?

Shock Wave Therapy is a modern treatment, approved by NICE (National Institute for Heath and Clinical Excellence) and can be used prior to surgical intervention to alleviate pain and suffering for various joint and associated tissue problems.

What does ESWT stand for? Extracorporeal shockwave therapy!

There are several theories as to how ESWT may help promote healing and help to reduce pain.  The most accepted theory is that the micro-trauma of the repeated shock waves creates new blood flow in the area, which is known as neo-vascularisation and promotes tissue healing.  ESWT may also instigate a new inflammatory process so the brain can send necessary nutrients to the area to aid healing.  This would be particularly useful in chronic pain when the brain has potentially “forgotten” about the pain and is not attempting to heal the area.

Our partner Clinic in Croydon is a specialist for ESWT

What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy?


Where Did It Come From?


For many years doctors have been using similar technology, acoustic shockwaves, to break kidney stones without having to have surgery. This is called lithotripsy and is still used today. During the course of treating many thousands of people with Lithotripsy, some of those people mentioned that other ailments were also healed and so scientists began to examine the possibility that similar technology could have similar effects on other parts of the body. One of the Pros of ESWT (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) is that is indeed realtively pain free.


Advantages of Radial Shock Wave Therapy or ESWT

There are fewer complications of ESWT when compared to surgical intervention and recovery from treatment is immediate.


In addition:

  • no anesthetic required
  • no medication to treat required
  • fast treatment times – 30 minutes a session
  • virtually painless after the treatment
  • significant benefit seen after 6-8 weeks post treatment


How Does Shock Wave Therapy Work?

The  Shock Wave Therapy is given over three sessions on a weekly basis.  Each treatment requires 2500 shockwaves to the affected area.  It is a relatively new treatment for foot pathologies and NICE recommends that specialists discuss this treatment fully with anyone before it is started so that the person understands the possible small risks and that the effectiveness of this treatment is uncertain.