Over at Artisan Ortho - Dr Puah is results focused. We use the Surgeon version of Shockwave Therapy - Focused Shockwave Device (Aries 2). Most physios and allied health use Radial Shockwave which is a less concentrated version.
Shockwave therapy/ESWT is generally safe but patients may experience some level of discomfort depending on tolerance to pain.
How does shockwave therapy / ESWT work?
At Artisan Sports and Orthopaedic Surgery, we offer a non-invasive medical grade shockwave device, the Aries®2. It is a high energy shockwave device that encourages and stimulates healing at the affected area, alleviates pain, and also encourages healing.
During the procedure, a handheld device is used to deliver high-intensity sound waves to the affected area of the body. This results in the formation of new blood vessels which translates to increased blood circulation. Additionally, shockwave therapy/ESWT also stimulates the production of collagen thus helping to improve tissue healing and reduce inflammation.
Shockwave therapy/ESWT treatment involves the following:
The patient lies down with the treatment area exposed.
Treatment gel which helps the shockwave penetrate deeper, is applied to the area.
The ESWT probe is pressed to the area and rapid impulses are delivered.
The procedure lasts anywhere between 15-20 minutes, depending on the severity and size of the treatment area.
If you undergo shockwave therapy/ESWT, you can expect to experience:
Reduction in pain
Improved function of the affected area
Improvement in mobility
Increased range of motion
Decrease in inflammation and swelling
Improved circulation to the affected area
In some cases, shockwave therapy / ESWT may even help to stimulate the growth of new tissue, which can aid in the healing process.
Results will vary from person to person, depending on the treatment area, severity of the issue, and your overall health. Your orthopaedist can give you a better idea of what to expect based on your individual needs and circumstances.
What happens after a shockwave therapy / ESWT session?
Since shockwave therapy / ESWT is non-invasive, you will be able to return to your usual activities after the procedure.
Avoid strenuous activities that may aggravate your pain or treatment area. These activities should only be resumed once your whole treatment course is completed and you have obtained clearance from your orthopaedist.
How many treatment sessions of shockwave therapy / ESWT are needed?
The number of shockwave therapy/ESWT sessions required depends on the specific condition being treated and the individual’s response to treatment. However, on average, most patients will generally undergo 3 to 5 treatment sessions, with each session lasting around 15 to 20 minutes at a time. These sessions are typically scheduled 1 to 2 weeks apart, allowing your body time to heal and respond to the treatment.
Some patients may experience immediate pain relief after the first session but others may require multiple sessions to achieve optimal results.
Shockwave therapy / ESWT can continue for several weeks or even months after the last treatment session, as the body continues to heal and regenerate tissues.
Your orthopaedist will be able to provide you with a bespoke treatment plan, tailored to your needs and requirements.
Dr Puah KL is our Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Artisan Sports & Orthopaedic Surgery. He used to serve the sports service of Singapore General Hospital - the highest volume trauma centre for orthopaedics in Singapore.