Before having any treatment, your specialist will take a full medical history from you to assess your suitability for shockwave therapy. Shockwave therapy is a safe, effective treatment if given in a professional setting, but there are circumstances where it isn’t advised. This type of treatment is not suitable if:
- You have a blood clotting disorder and/or take blood thinning or anticoagulant medications such as aspirin (75mg daily) or warfarin
- You have a nerve disorder
- You are pregnant
- You have or have had any kind of bone cancer
- You have an infection in the area that needs treatment
- You have metal pins or plates in the area that needs treatment
- You have received a steroid injection for the same problem in the last 12 weeks
- You have taken any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen for any reason in the last two weeks
After Treatment & When Shockwave Should Not Be Used
After the treatment, you may experience temporary soreness, tenderness or swelling for a few days following the procedure, as the shockwaves stimulate an inflammatory response. But this is the body healing itself naturally. So, it is important not to take any anti-inflammatory medication after treatment, which may slow down the results. Upon completion of your treatment, you can return to most regular activities almost immediately.
Shockwave therapy should not be used if there is a circulation or nerve disorder, infection, bone tumor, or a metabolic bone condition. Shockwave therapy should also not be used if there are any open wounds or tumors or during pregnancy pregnant. People using blood-thinning medications or who have severe circulatory disorders may also not be eligible for treatment.
- Will I be in pain after treatment?
You will normally experience reduced pain immediately after the treatment, but a mild and diffuse increase in pain can occur a few hours later, which can last a day or so.
- What should I do if I am in pain after the treatment?
Radial shockwave therapy initiates a pro-inflammatory condition in the tissue that is being treated. If necessary, you can use paracetamol, or a codeine-based medication for pain relief after treatment. Do not use anti-inflammatory medication and do not use ice on the treatment area as both will interfere with the bodies self-healing abilities.
- When can I return to activity?
Even if you have no pain after treatment, it is strongly recommended that you refrain from any activity that stresses the treated area for 48 hours after each treatment. You will be able to drive immediately after the treatment.
- Will I need any rehabilitation or exercises after shockwave therapy?
The success of shockwave therapy is improved by doing a graded isometric / eccentric exercise program after the course of treatments. You will be given an exercise program by the physiotherapist, or you will be referred for further rehabilitation from one of the therapists in the musculoskeletal team.