Shock Wave Therapy
NQ Foot and Ankle Centre is one of the only practices in Queensland to offer Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy as part of our management plan for a number of chronic soft tissue conditions of the lower limb. ESWT, also known as Shock Wave Therapy or Radial Shock Wave Therapy, has been used successfully by our Podiatrists to treat a broad range of conditions ranging from chronic achilles tendonitis to plantar fasciitis (heel spur syndrome). These painful conditions are notoriously difficult to resolve, and often fail to respond to many traditional conservative treatment modalities. ESWT has been investigated in multiple well-designed, randomized and placebo-controlled trials, providing Level 1 evidence of effectiveness, and more importantly, safety of treatment.
How does Shock Wave Therapy Work?
Shock Wave Therapy was originally developed to treat kidney stones without the need for invasive surgery. In more recent times, it has been found to be effective in reducing musculoskeletal pain by increasing the blood flow and metabolic activity around the site of pain, accelerating the healing process. The shockwaves are also thought to stimulate the local nerves, causing the body to set up a nerve block to the area which helps decrease sensitivity. Shockwaves can also be used to break up calcification within tendons, leading to fragmentation of the calcified area which is reabsorbed by the body locally.
About the Treatment
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment. Your Podiatrist will hold a probe against the skin, allowing high energy soundwaves to spread outwards to the affected tissues. You may experience a short period of localised discomfort, usually followed by numbness or heaviness in the area. Treatments generally last 5-10 minutes, during which you may receive between 2000 to 3000 pulses.
How many Treatments will I need?
Depending on the area being treated, 3 to 5 sessions are usually required. These are undertaken 1 week apart, with a follow up after 6 weeks.
Private Health Insurance Claims
You will be able to claim a standard Podiatry rebate on your health insurance if you have extras cover. Shockwave therapy itself is not a rebateable item. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes or arthritis, you may qualify for a Medicare rebate under the Enhanced Primary Care Program. This will require a specific referral from your GP.