Radial shock-wave therapy

Shock-waves were applied medically for the first time in 1980 to remove kidney stones, which revolutionised kidney stone therapy. Shock-waves are sound waves introduced to tissue via the skin’s surface, and which then spread out. The aim and function of radial shock-wave therapy is to stimulate the natural self-healing powers of the body. This method, unlike surgery, does not damage tissue and can be performed indefinitely often.

I use this therapy predominantly in sports medicine and pain therapy to treat a range of complaints including: calcific tendonitis (a painful restriction of shoulder movement at the mouth of the tendon), tennis elbow (an irritation of the tendon in the elbow), heel spurs (a mostly chronic and painful inflammation beneath the heel), inflammatory changes of the Achilles tendon, or patella syndrome (presenting as knee pain on movement or an inflammation of the bursa on the tip of the knee).

Radial shock-wave therapy also allows the extremely gentle and effective treatment of diseases of the spine, increased tension, muscle hardening and adhesions.

What does the therapy involve? The head of the shock-wave device is moved across the painful area (which if appropriate is first checked by ultrasound). The treatment only takes a few minutes and is usually repeated 3 to 5 times.