Shockwave therapy for tendonitis is a common form of therapy. There are many areas in the body that this can be applied and shockwave therapy for tendonitis remains a viable management protocol for persistent or difficult to manage tendonitis. Achilles tendonitis is a common form of tendinopathy so this article uses it to describe shockwave therapies uses.
What is Achilles Tendinopathy?
This condition is a relatively common injury to athletes, recreational exercise enthusiasts, and the general population. It is, however, more common in those who participate in sports such as football, basketball, and athletics (long and short distance running), which require excessive loading through the achilles in the form of running or jumping.
The cause of achilles tendinopathy still remains unclear with researchers carrying out further testing of the exact cause and effect. It has been suggested that the tendon undergoes microdamage at a cellular level, whereby the body’s attempt to heal itself under repetitive strain puts the Achilles tendon into a vicious chronic loop.
Possible causes of Achilles Tendinopathy:
There has been a number of factors that contribute to this condition such as:
- Muscle imbalances in the lower leg
- Poor calf endurance
- Poor stability in the core, knee, and hip affecting normal biomechanics.
- Stiffness felt in the foot
- Change in footwear
- Increasing training load/distance running too quickly
The most common symptoms faced when being affected by achilles tendinopathy are:
- Pain at the back of the ankle occasionally can be stiff
- Worse pain felt in the morning and inactive periods
- Pain at the start and end of an exercise, not during exercise
- Swelling is common in the achilles tendon – tender to touch
- If sudden pain and an audible pop is heard, seek medical advice.
Shockwave therapy for tendonitis?
An article in 2007 studied 75 patients who had Achilles tendinopathy. They found that no treatment (a wait and see policy) had zero effect on the symptoms, whereas eccentric loading and shockwave therapy showed comparable results. They suggested that the combination of shockwave and eccentric loading yielded significant results in the symptoms that patients felt, thus making it an ideal conservative option.
A more recent paper carried out a randomised, double-blind, placebo trial. The 48 patients were assigned to either receive shockwave therapy or a sham alternative (fake). After 8 and 12 weeks, better results were seen in the intervention group (shockwave therapy), therefore supporting the use of shockwave therapy in those with chronic achilles tendinopathy.
Recent improvements in technology have meant that shockwave therapy is an affordable option for the majority of patients, allowing an alternative option to surgery.
Perfect Balance Clinic can help you with Achilles tendinopathy, We offer shockwave therapy which is carried out by senior therapists along with rehabilitation programs carried out by Sports therapists and Physiotherapists. If it has been suggested or you think that you have achilles tendinopathy please contact the clinic by filling out our form below, or simply call and we can help speed up your recovery!
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This article was written by our sports therapist Sonal Patel.
For more information about shockwave therapy for tendonitis
If you would like additional information about Achilles Tendinopathy or to discuss how we may be able to help with understanding the benefits of shockwave therapy, please contact us using the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.