Frequently Asked Questions - Shockwave Therapy

Is shockwave therapy safe for everyone?

There are certain instances where shockwave therapy is not appropriate, please see below:

• Patients taking certain medications including: antiplatelets (for example, aspirin or clopidogrel) or anticoagulants (such as warfarin or rivaroxaban)
• Anyone with a blood clotting disorder
• Anyone under the age of 18
• Anyone who has been diagnosed with bone cancer
• Anyone with a cardiac pacemaker or other cardiac device
• Anyone who has a local infection or a history of tendon or ligament rupture
• Anyone who has had any steroid injections to the proposed treatment area in the previous 12 weeks
• Abdominal shockwave is not appropriate during pregnancy

How do I make an appointment for shockwave therapy?

You will need to be referred for shockwave therapy by a suitably qualified healthcare clinician such as a GP, sports physician, chiropractor, osteopath, physiotherapist, podiatrist etc. Once the referral form has been received at the WIOC, the referring clinician should advise the patient to call the clinic on 01443 483555 to schedule an appointment.

What happens when I first attend for treatment?

Please report in to the clinic reception, a member of staff will record your arrival and ask you to wait until a sonographer is available to escort you to one of our ultrasound rooms.

Where will the procedure take place?

The procedure will take place in one of our ultrasound rooms on the upper floor of the WIOC clinic. If you have any mobility problems please let the reception staff know when you report to the desk on arrival at the clinic. There is a lift available to take you to the first floor.

Who will be administering the treatment?

The Sports Physician administering the treatment is also a General Practitioner. He is trained in shockwave therapy and musculoskeletal ultrasound, and therefore qualified to interpret the images as well as administer the shockwave therapy. He will explain the procedure to you and give you an opportunity to ask questions if you have any.

What happens during the procedure?

You will be asked to lie on the scanning couch or sit in a chair and the Sports Physician will complete a short ultrasound scan to identify the site for shockwave therapy. Once the site for treatment has been located the shockwave therapy will be administered from a probe which looks a little bit like a gun. The actual shockwave therapy takes about 15 minutes, and the whole appointment should only take around 30-40 minutes. Subsequent visits will not require an ultrasound scan prior to the administration of Shockwave therapy, and will take about 15-20 minutes.

Will it hurt?

The treatment will be uncomfortable, however the Sports Physician will ask you for constant feedback to ensure the intensity remains within tolerable limits. Most patients experience immediate pain relief after treatment, however it is likely that there may also be some post treatment soreness 2-4 hours after the treatment. This should be managed with over the counter painkillers if necessary. To ensure your treatment is appropriate for your condition it is important to notify the Sports Physician if your symptoms have changed since you were referred.

How many treatments will I need?

The effectiveness of the treatment is cumulative, and most patients need between 4-6 treatments.

How often will I need treatment?

Treatment is likely to be administered on a weekly basis, however this will depend on your tolerance and response to the treatment.

What should I do if I have any questions before or after the procedure?

You can contact us at any time via the WIOC reception staff, who will take a message and ask the relevant staff member to call you. They can be contacted by telephone on 01443 483555 or through a generic e-mail address wioc@southwales.ac.uk

How do I pay for my procedure?

You will be asked to pay for each visit before you leave the WIOC. Payment can be made by cash, debit or credit card.

What happens at the end of the course of treatment?

A report will be generated and sent to the person who referred you, outlining the course of treatment received, your progress and response to treatment.