Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive therapeutic technique which is mainly used in the treatment of chronic pathologies and in physiotherapy and sports medicine for the treatment of chronic tendon pathologies.
Their aim is to break down fibrosis, fragment calcifications and promote neo-vascularisation leading to faster healing. An inhibitory effect, analgesic of chronic pain information, has also been demonstrated.
Modes of action :
Mechanical: defibrosing, traumatic: a neo-lesion is created on a microscopic scale; this phenomenon is followed by hypervascularisation, which can stimulate healing.
Biochemical: release of analgesic substances (pain relief)
Chronic tendinitis (insertional, corporal, calcifying), periostitis, Pseudarthrosis.
Coagulation disorders / patient under anticoagulant treatment, Patient suffering from complex regional pain syndrome (CRS), Pregnancy,Pacemaker, Local infection, wound, tumour, Proximity to lung/intestine.
Side effects :
Side effects are few. They are most often local redness, swelling, temporary pain. Taking anti-inflammatory drugs is contraindicated during treatment.
Terms and conditions :
We are talking about one to two weekly sessions for +/- 3 weeks. Pressure is applied to the tendon which is previously put under tension (the practitioner adapts to the patient’s tolerance, knowing that a significant pressure gradient must be applied to a targeted tensioning of the tendon).
Due to the healing mechanisms involved in this treatment, results are usually not felt until the third or fourth session.
It is not necessary to stop playing sports completely during the treatment. The pain-free rule remains in place. This would even increase the chances of a biomechanical healing of the tendon.