Shockwave Therapy

Eddy Almeida
Eddy Almeida
2023-11-10
As soon as I arrived she made me feel comfortable by asking the right questions with very instructive details of what was the therapy and healing about. In just 2 sessions I regained my hip mobility again thanks to acupuncture and following light exercises at home. Thanks to Isobel and the Team it was awesome 🙏🏾
Shelley Stephen
Shelley Stephen
2023-10-04
I found Isy while looking for someone to help me with an on going knee and back problem which was greatly impacting my mobility. From diagnosis to treatment I have received excellent care and support from Isy, which has made a real difference to both the pain I was experiencing and my level of mobility. Isy is passionate about what she does, going above and beyond to help you, all the while retaining a notable level of professionalism. I have found her treatment to be very effective and would recommend Isy at Elite to anyone who is in need. She really is remarkable.
Chrystal McCallum
Chrystal McCallum
2023-08-26
After complete knee replacement surgery I needed physiotherapy and my son found Elite. Daniele has been outstanding, patient, caring and supportive. I am still having treatment here and can heartily recommend Elite.
Dara Neylon
Dara Neylon
2023-08-23
Got great treatment with Isy for my neck and shoulder pain. She's been one of the very few physios with who I've actually felt a difference after a few sessions and my pain significantly decreased as a result. If you're looking for a physio that's not scared to really dig into the problem area and use different treatments, you'll find it here. She was also really helpful at adjusting to my working hours.
craig norman
craig norman
2023-08-12
Isy is by far the best sports physio I have ever used, I could hardly move my left arm and shoulder and only had a few treatments as didn't have much time in Spain would massively recommend her to anyone 👍
Martin Mallon
Martin Mallon
2023-07-25
I arrived in Fuengirola on holiday with a running injury. Could barely walk. Had a session with Isy who is absolutely brilliant. She diagnosed the problems and got me straightened up and mobile again. Had a second session a week later and feel great now. I would highly recommend Isy at Elite to anyone. Top class
Andreas Östman
Andreas Östman
2023-07-12
I'm genuinely wowed by Issy's work. I've come across many in this profession, but Issy tops them all. She's incredibly skilled, detail-oriented, and truly cares about helping people. I'd happily recommend her to anyone I know.
Mícheál Mulligan
Mícheál Mulligan
2023-07-02
Absolutely and most certainly an effective clinic ! My condition is very complicated as it involves the brain, but Daniele did an amazing job and put extra effort in with me. I highly appreciate and am very thankful for all he did. I've seen a lot of Doctors during my treatment, but Daniele most certainly provided me with the most realistic approach with genuine care. Thank you! 🙏
Eugene O'Sullivan
Eugene O'Sullivan
2023-06-30
I have seen Isy Fergusson for a couple of years to manage back pain and she was great. Recently she referred me to Daniele for two tendon/ligament issues and he diagnosed the issues and gave me exercises to heal them, and now both issues have gone away. Can’t recommend both of them highly enough, really pleased with the work they do. Also, they have a choice of locations, Riviera or Las Lagunas.

Shockwave Therapy is a non-invasive procedure often used to treat injured bones, joints, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues. With no need for painkillers, shock wave therapy can offer fast pain relief and aid recovery for a range of chronic conditions including:

How Does Shock Wave Therapy work?

  • Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (otherwise known as shin splints)
  • Hamstring issues
  • Any other chronic soft-tissue
  • Joint conditions causing long-term pain

Shockwave therapy is delivered directly onto the affected area via the use of a ‘generator’ or device, using low-energy acoustic waves that penetrate the skin and treat the immediate area. 

Most treatments are applied by a therapist using a hand-held device, which turns compressed air into low-energy sound waves. Light pressure is applied and the device is moved across the damaged areas that require treatment.

Shockwave therapy has two main ‘modes of action’ that can help with persistent pain.

Firstly, the shock waves work to ‘desensitise’ nerve endings which can immediately reduce pain in the local area. Secondly, the waves stimulate blood flow in the area, causing a small amount of localised inflammation.

In the days immediately following the treatment, the body naturally tries to heal the inflammation and in doing so, encourages the regeneration of cells, repairing damaged tissue and reducing pain.

Shockwave therapy can also help with issues relating to scar tissue. Because scar tissue is much denser – and much less elastic – than normal tissue, the sound waves can help break it down, improving mobility and reducing discomfort.

Similarly, the waves can be used to break down ‘disorganised’ tissue or any build-up. While these sound waves are radial, this should not be confused with the types of shock wave therapy that are typically available – ‘radial’ and ‘focused’.

Radial Wave Therapy is the most common type of shock wave therapy, although Focused Wave Therapy is growing in popularity due to the treatment options, depth and precision it can offer acute cases.

Below we explore some of the differences between Radial Shock Wave Therapy (RSWT) and Focused Shock Wave Therapy (FSWT), we must first understand what they are.

What is Radial Shockwave Therapy?

Radial Shockwave Therapy consists of three parts :

  1. Ultrasonic Pulses
  2. Audio Acoustic Pulses
  3. Slow Shear Waves

These waves have their greatest energy at the source which weakens the farther it travels away.

Using compressed air, the projectile is accelerated to a high speed which decelerates when it’s held to the area being treated. This kinetic energy is then transmitted to the tissue and pushed outwards as a ‘radial wave’ across the affected area.

The point of ‘impact’ constitutes the highest pressure and highest energy density which eventually loses power the deeper they enter the body. For patients with more superficial, surface-level issues, radial shock wave therapy can give good results.

This tends to be for patients suffering from conditions to do with the Achilles tendon, plantar fasciitis or more specific issues such as tennis elbow.

What is Focused Shockwave Therapy?

Focused shockwave therapy – sometimes known as Focused Shockwaves – is able to provide more depth penetration for deeper tissue than radial waves, focusing its output into more localized, deeper areas. 

These types of waves are generated through the use of a coil, which creates magnetic fields when a current is applied. This generates a pressure wave that can move through the medium without any loss of energy in a focused zone.

Fortunately, the site of actual wave generation experiences a minimal impact, limiting the damage to surface skin and underlying soft tissues.

While radial waves are applied all over a local area, FSWT is only applied at defined points within the body, which can be adapted depending on the depth that is required.

This makes focused therapy much better for treating any issues that affect tissues deeper within the body – including tissues close to the bone or any denser build-up that may have accrued.

In some cases, focused shockwave therapy is used in conjunction with radial therapy – typically when a patient’s pain levels can’t tolerate radial wave therapy or could benefit from a hybrid approach.

Comparing Radial vs Focused Shockwave Therapy

When comparing radial and focused shock wave therapy, the main considerations are penetration depth and localisation of the treatment. As you’d imagine, the greater the depth penetration of the waves, the easier it is to treat deep-lying issues in the tendons, muscle or bones. Similarly, depending on the size of the problem area, the type of therapy needed will typically change.

While radial waves are good at providing relief over a wider area and can treat low depth issues such as those on the Achilles or elbow, other conditions can require more focused treatments.

Radial waves are characterised by three key points:

  1. They have lower maximum intensity.
  2. They have a divergent wave.
  3. They deliver their maximum intensity to a ‘superficial’ area i.e low depth. This depth is usually around 3 – 4cm.

Focused shockwaves allow for ‘adjustable’ penetration depending on where needs to be treated and are ideal for treating deeper problem areas such as hamstring, pelvic or hip issues.

Focused shockwaves are characterized as having a higher maximum intensity, delivered as a convergent wave with an adjustable depth of focal area. This can range between 2 and 30cm.

The reason the waves are different is down to how the therapy is applied. While RSWT follows a pneumatic principle, using compressed air and transmitters to determine the wave shape, FSWT follows an electroacoustic principle, using electromagnetism and coupling pads to apply deeper, focused and adjustable waves.

Is there a difference in pain levels?

Radial therapy is typically more painful because of the way it is applied. The vibrating nature of the radial treatment, plus the fact it is delivered over a larger area, means it is generally only used to treat chronic conditions. Focused therapy, on the other hand, can be used in more acute cases that are causing the patient more pain, as it is typically less painful itself.

If you are interested to find out if shockwave therapy can help you why not contact us here and we will contact you to discuss how we can help with your pain.

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