Radial Shock Wave Therapy
Radial Shock Wave Therapy, also known as ESWT or orthotripsy is a method of therapy that delivers a wave of energy (the “shock”) into soft tissues. Depending on the devise used, the wave of energy may be generated by an electro-hydraulic or electro-mechanical method. This pulse, or wave, of energy passes through the skin to the deeper soft tissues at the site of pain or injury. Developed following the technique for reducing kidney stones, known as lithotripsy, RSWT energy is produced at a lower level as the tissues being treated are typically much more superficial.
There are many theories as to just how the pulse of energy affects the tissues but the basic premise is that the injured tissues react directly to the mechanical stimulation as well as indirect stimulation. These cause a cellular effect of biochemical processes that initiate the healing process.
During a typical session multiple pulses, 1500-2000, are delivered to the tissue in a session that lasts 10-15 minutes. No anesthesia is required and the therapy is generally pain free.
Depending on the tissue treated and the individual response, a minimum of 3 sessions will be needed and up to 6 sessions may be required for some. Chronic Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis are the primary uses for this therapy however peroneal tendinitis responds in many cases. This can be a valuable, non-surgical way to treat many tissues with no side effects or pain.