Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)
Bodyworks is now offering Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) as a treatment option for some musculoskeletal conditions where other treatments have not been effective enough. ESWT has been available for some years now, and there is increasing evidence that it can be effective in chronic conditions of the achilles tendons, plantar fasciitis and tennis elbow (see “indications” below). As ESWT is now funded by most insurance companies and recognised by NICE, we are able to offer it to all clients. A special unit like the one on the left is used to generate low-energy sound waves which stimulate the body to heal itself. Patients will usually require a course of three treatments, one to two weeks apart.
I had a machine on loan for trial a few years ago and was very impressed with the results that I observed. At that time, insurance companies would not reimburse physiotherapists for conducting the treatment. I am happy to say that now this situation has changed, I will be able to offer this treatment to all my clients. Having considered various manufacturers, it is evident that not all machines are equal. I have decided to purchase a Storz Medical Masterpuls machine. It has been used in many of the published research projects and therefore gives me some confidence that I am delivering the best treatment to my clients. Treatment will be £90 per session for self-paying clients (insurance company charges may vary) and it is recommended that three sessions a week apart is the optimum, although some clients may receive up to five treatments. Improvements are evident up to three months after treatment.
There is an emerging body of evidence to support the use of ESWT in the management of chronic achilles tendonopathy, refractory plantar fasciitis and lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). It has also been used in cases of gluteus medius tendonopathy, trochanteric bursitis, calcific tendonitis of the shoulder and to promote the healing of bony stress injuries. ESWT is offered to patients who have not responded well enough to other treatments such as physiotherapy, orthotics (insoles or leg braces), rest, steroid injection, ice therapy and pain relief. It is used for chronic conditions when healing has stalled, as its mechanism is to produce microtrauma to stimulate the body’s natural healing responses. NICE have confirmed the safety of using ESWT for musculoskeletal conditions.