5 Things you need to know about Successful Shockwave Diathermy

Shockwave Diathermy

Shockwave diathermy is a relatively new treatment and is known under many different names, including FES – Functional Electrical Stimulation, ESWT – Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy or RSWT – Radial Shockwave Therapy. Shockwave diathermy was used initially for the treatment of kidney stones but is now successfully treating a number of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. Shockwave diathermy is a therapy that will target specific areas of pain throughout the body with the aim of giving significant, if not total, pain relief to patients. 

Your physiotherapist will deliver shockwave therapy directly onto the skin that covers your injury. This pain relief uses low energy sound waves rather than electrical waves to target your problem areas. The waves penetrate your skin and radiate as a shockwave through the affected area and is therefore classed as targeted therapy. By stimulating blood flow to your injury area, which promotes inflammation, your body will work to heal the inflamed area and stimulates the repair and regeneration of healthy cells. This, in turn, will support your injured area with cell regeneration and repairing of the area. 

What Can Shockwave Diathermy be used for?

Painful injuries, whether through overuse of a joint or muscle or a sports injury, can be debilitating and challenging to manage long term. These injuries will impact your quality of life and often means you are unable to exercise. Not only can the injury be painful, but managing aspects of daily life can also be complicated and stressful. Regular pain medication can be taken, but this can often mask the problem and will not get to or improve the root cause. Therapies such as shockwave diathermy can offer great relief to injuries and will often significantly improve pain. 

Shockwave diathermy can be beneficial to many patients who are currently dealing with painful soft tissues, including muscles or tendons, or joint and bone conditions. This therapy can support overcoming a number of injuries and will also benefit those who are currently having physiotherapy. The following conditions can benefit from shockwave diathermy.

Achilles tendinopathy – pain in the tendon that connects the back of your foot to your calf muscle 

Tennis or golfers elbow – pain on the inner or outer (respectively) side of your elbow

Plantar fasciitis – pain on the underside of your foot that travels up the back of your leg

Whilst it is very successful for those who undertake treatment, shockwave diathermy is not suitable for everyone. Care should be taken to determine whether it is ideal for a patient before the treatment begins. This type of treatment may not be suitable if: 

  • You are pregnant
  • You suffer from a nerve disorder 
  • You have or have had bone cancer 
  • You have a blood clotting disorder


Your physiotherapist will ensure this type of therapy is suitable for you prior to beginning your course of treatment. 

The Benefits of Shockwave Diathermy

Finding a therapy that works for you and your injury can take time. That’s why it’s imperative to work with a trained physiotherapist that will support you to find the right treatment and discuss all your options with you. There are a number of benefits to using shockwave diathermy as an effective treatment: 

Shockwave diathermy treatments are a targeted therapy choice that is non-invasive and safe to use as they are non-surgical. This treatment uses low energy sound waves to stimulate blood flow and slight inflammation of the injury area, which promotes self-healing through cell regeneration. 

Shockwave diathermy promotes flexible collagen tissue. Collagen tissue is made up of collagen fibres. These fibres help connect tissues. When these fibres get too stiff, they cause problems. Ultrasounds work by sending high-frequency waves into the body. These waves break down scar tissue and other things that make the collagen fibres stiff. 

This type of therapy can be used to treat joints and muscles all over your body, including your hands, feet and wrists. Using this treatment, therefore, is entirely flexible and will target specific muscles. Shockwave diathermy can also be used for treating larger joints, including your shoulder and hip.

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Physio Healing Hands provide Effective Shockwave Diathermy

At Physio Healing Hands, our vision is to enable people with neurological or musculoskeletal conditions to maximise their potential by providing high-quality physiotherapy services which allow them to live a full life. With our combined experience and expertise, we offer a range of treatments to clients, both through our clinic, based in Aylesbury and through visiting our clients at a location that is suitable to them. 

If you are currently facing daily pain from an injury and would like support to get back to a typical pattern of life, shockwave diathermy may be suitable for you. Give us a call today or book a consultation to see if you are ideal for shockwave diathermy treatments and how a course of this therapy could see you moving back towards your everyday life without the daily pain you are currently facing. 

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