Shock Wave Therapy

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy in Exeter

If you need a biomechanical examination and gait analysis, ExeterClinic is here for you. We can conduct a biomechanical examination for you and provide you with bespoke orthotics to improve the condition of your feet. We also provide Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy for patients suffering from musculoskeletal conditions.

Experts in biomechanics

Extracorporeal Shockwave therapy, or ESWT, is  a specialist treatment for chronic and painful musculoskeletal conditions. It is a procedure where shock waves a re passed through the skin to the injured area, using a special device. 
Extracorporeal means outside of the body. The shock waves are mechanical and not electric; they are audible, low energy sound waves which work by increasing blood flow to the injured area. This helps to accelerate the body's healing process.

Why should I have ESWT?

ESWT is offered to patients with Achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis, medical tibial stress syndrome and Patella tip syndrome, who have not responded adequately to conservative treatments such as:
  • Physiotherapy
  • Rest
  • Steroid Injections
  • Ice therapy
  • Painkillers
It is a minimally invasive treatment that is carried out on an outpatient basis, meaning that you do not have to stay overnight in hospital and can can go home the same day. ESWT can offer relief from pain and other symptoms.
biomechanic tool

What are the risks/side effects?

You will experience a some pain during the treatment, but this should be tolerable. Following the treatment, you may experience bruising, swelling and numbness to the area that has been treated. These side effects should resolve within a week, before your next treatment. There is a small risk of tendon or ligament rupture and damage to the soft tissue. 
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have deemed this procedure to be safe, although there are some uncertainties about how well it works. For this reason, every patient will be monitored before and after the treatments to discover how successful the outcome is. Studies have shown that there is up to 80% chance that it will be effective.

Are there limitations to who can be treated?

You will be asked to complete a questionnaire before your treatment starts. You must not have ESWT if you:
  • Are pregnant
  • Have a blood clotting disorder
  • Are under the age of 18
  • Have been diagnosed with bone cancer
  • Have a cardiac pacemaker or other cardiac device
  • Have an infection in your foot or a history of tendon or ligament rupture
  • Have had any steroid injections in the previous 12 weeks
These will be discussed with you by a member of the team when the treatment is offered. If you have any further questions, or would like any further information, please let us know.

Will I feel any pain?

Most patients do experience some pain during the procedure. You will be asked how much pain you are experiencing during the treatment and we will attempt to adjust the treatment to help manage this. The pain will stop at the end of the procedure.

How can I prepare for ESWT?

You will need to ensure that you are available for the full course of your treatment.
You should refrain from taking non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (for example, ibuprofen or aspirin) for two weeks before your first treatment. You can eat and drink normally before your treatment. Please wear comfortable clothes as you will be lying on your front for the treatment.

What happens during ESWT?

You will be asked to lie on your front with your legs supported. We will put some ultrasound gel on the injured area and then place the hand piece of the device over the surface of the skin and the gel. The ESWT is delivered using this hand piece - it delivers compressed air impulses through the ultrasound gel. Each treatment will take approximately 15 minutes.

What happens after ESWT?

After the treatment you will be able to get up and walk straight away. If you do experience discomfort, you can take over-the-counter painkillers (such as paracetamol), but you should avoid anti-inflammatories and ice therapy, as these can interfer with the body's healing process.
graphic of foot
Call Exeter Clinic for a biomechanical examination in Exeter. You can also fill in our online form to book an appointment at our clinic.

0800 999 5545 (freephone)
Online booking
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