Frequently Asked Questions: Shockwave Therapy
- How successful is the therapy?
- What are the benefits of this therapy?
- Who can benefit from treatment?
- Who should not use this treatment?
- Does this therapy hurt?
- What are the risks of therapy?
- What is the duration and frequency of therapy?
- How long will it take to notice benefits of treatment?
- Do I need a referral to receive this therapy?
- Is shockwave therapy expensive?
- How can I learn more about this therapy?
- What is the next step for me?
How successful is the therapy?
After only 3 sessions, over 80% of patients report painlessness or significant pain reduction. Some specific success rates in the current research literature include:
- 91% improvement for calcific tendinopathy (Journal of American Medical Assocation, 2003)
- 77% improvement for tennis elbow (The Journal of Orthopedics, 2005)
- 90% improvement for plantarfasciitis (Journal of Orthopedic Research, 2005)
- 80% improvement for non-union fractures (Clinical Orthopedics and related research, 2001)
- 86% improvement for rotator cuff tendonitis (Journal of American Medical Association, 2003)
- 75% improvement for Jumper's Knee (patellar tendonitis) - (American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2007)
- 75% improvement for Achilles tendinopathy (American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2007)
What are the benefits of this therapy?
- The most obvious benefits involve a return to a pain-free, healthy, pre-injury level of functioning - this most certainly includes chronic cases. (Do you remember what it was like to be pain-free?)
- Treatment success rates are often equal to or greater than surgery - without the risks and post-operative complications that surgery entails. Specifically, surgery has risks of infection, scarring, nerve damage, and more. Further, many surgeries require an extended post-operative recovery period. Shockwave therapy does not have any of these risks or pitfalls.
- This therapy is not a "band-aid"; solution. It is not intended to be a quick, temporarily relieving treatment. Rather, it promotes complete healing.
Who can benefit from treatment?
Anyone looking for a safe, proven effective, non-surgical alternative for the treatment of tendon, muscle, ligament, capsular, and bony injuries. (See the “Conditions Treated” list for a more extensive list of conditions with shockwave therapy). Both athletes and non-athletes can benefit, often immensely, from treatment.
Who should not use this treatment?
This treatment is not recommended for pregnant women, hemophiliacs or other persons with abnormal blood coagulation. Also note that people on NSAIDs and other medication that may inhibit blood clotting and coagulation (such as Aspirin) must discontinue their use, as approved by their physician, one week prior to the treatments.
Does this therapy hurt?
Many patients do not have any discomfort with it at all. However, a minority will have some temporary mild to moderate discomfort.
What are the risks of therapy?
This technology has been used extensively in Europe (most prevalent in Germany where this technology originated) on millions of people, and in recent years, large North American centres, with virtually no serious side-effects. The only side-effects reported are relatively rare, mild, and temporary – these may include mild aching, redness, tingling, or bruising – though these have been reported in older, higher intensity equipment. (This higher intensity equipment involved the use of general anesthetics, and is being replaced by very effective, lower intensity units).
What is the duration and frequency of therapy?
This greatly depends on the condition being treated, the age of the person, severity of the injury, etc. Clinical research indicates that we perform 3-5 sessions to begin with, at one week intervals, and then re-evaluate. Sessions generally take 10-20 minutes, depending on the condition being treated.
How long will it take to notice benefits of treatment?
Some people will notice benefits after only 1-2 treatments. For some people, however, the benefits can be delayed (this depends on such factors as how long the patient has suffered with the injury, and severity of injury). Clinical research has noted continued healing and improvement of symptoms up to 16 weeks post-treatment.
Do I need a referral to receive this therapy?
No. Although many of our patients come from referral from their family physician or orthopedic specialist, you do not need a referral for this therapy. However, before receiving treatment, we will take a history and perform a thorough physical examination to determine if you are a candidate for shockwave therapy.
Is shockwave therapy expensive?
Each session costs $65, (compare this to $150 - $250/session in larger cities) and generally, we recommend a treatment course of 3-5 treatment sessions followed by a re-evaluation. (If one takes into account the high success rate of this therapy, measured against the costs associated with weeks to months of conventional physical therapy that are often required to treat injuries, we believe this therapy is relatively inexpensive. Further, if one considers the cost of an injury – on quality of life, and on loss of work productivity – we consider this “cost” to be an investment in your health – not an expense.)
How can I learn more about this therapy?
Feel free to direct your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will make every effort to reply to your e-mail within 24 hours. Or, for a more in depth look at scientific studies, try this website: http://shockwavecanadainc.com/scientific-evidence-and-case-studies.
What is the next step for me?
If you are interested in a consultation, please contact our office at (705) 878-0463. Or if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Carney at email@example.com. He will be sure to get back to you within 2 days.