Shock wave therapy involves the application of pressure waves to a specific site in the body.
The pressure waves are high positive waves of up to 100 times that of atmospheric pressure.
Shockwave therapy has many applications one of which is the treatment of shoulder pain secondary to calcific tendonitis. Here the pressure waves are believed to induce fragmentation of calcium deposits and stimulate their resorption (Daecke et al 2002). The low energy form of these waves are believed to relieve pain while high-energy waves have been found to increase regional blood flow, produce capillary lesions and growth of new capillaries (Charrin & Noel 2001). Conventional treatment for this condition involves physiotherapy, analgesics and sub-acromial injections of steroids (Schmitt et al 2001) or in chronic cases, arthroscopic surgery to remove the calcification (Daecke et al 2002).
Several good quality studies have been performed to establish the efficacy or effectiveness of this technology for calcific tendonitis of the shoulder. Click here for a complete publication. Groups treated with shockwave therapy improve significantly along with a reduction in the size of the calcium deposits compared to those who have not.
While shockwave therapy has helped achieve amazing results for us in practice with regards to the management of pain, improved movement and enhancing the body’s natural healing response the underlying causes and contributors to each injury still need to be addressed. In this way results are sustained over the longer term. With regards to shoulder calcific tendonitis aspects of shoulder function such as muscle stability, general posture and spinal alignment are keys to long term results.
For treatment of your shoulder injury and a preliminary evaluation to determine your suitability for shockwave treatment please call us on 02 9518 0722