Could Shock Wave Therapy aid your recovery?

Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) has been around for about 40 years now, originally used to help with kidney stones. It was soon discovered the benefits in chronic pain injury issues and more recently the evidence is growing for the benefits with newer injuries.

Paul, Director at Body Logic Health, discusses his journey;

My journey with ESWT started earlier this year after finally finding the time to address a long standing heel issue. For a long time I had suspected what the problem was, an insertional tendinopathy of the Achilles. The problem had been present for about 2+ years and it had finally got to a point where the frustration meant i wanted to find out the exact issue and work out why the rehabilitation alone had not resolved the injury. The problem was I was able to run, bike, gym and even play touch rugby, with a good warm up and after the first 5 minutes it was all okay. However afterwards I was in all sorts of trouble, unable to put my heel down, walking was difficult and the next morning going downstairs well essentially it has been one step at a time much to the boys amusement. It was becoming a real problem. The final straw was a game of cricket, one of my favourite sports when after bowling four overs following 4 months of rehabilitation I found myself unable to run, my heel hurt and I felt that might be the last game, the pain was too much.

So I headed off to the Ankle Consultant to have a review and get an MRI and X-ray to confirm the underlying injury. These showed the trifactor of issues in the region, along with my insertional Achilles Tendinopathy there was also a bone spur on the back of the heel bone and an inflamed bursae (imagine a soft tissue designed to stop your tendon rubbing on bone that is swollen). Well that explained the pain problem then, and why I was struggling with the last part of the rehabilitation, the rehab for one issue would have flared the other up! The consultant spotted my frustration and suggested that surgery might be the best option, however he wanted me to try ESWT first.

I had heard about it, was very close to buying a machine in 2019 following the Therapy Expo in Birmingham in fact and thought this was a good chance to really try out this treatment option. So off I headed eagerly to get started and see if I could get to the bottom of the problem. The first thing that was discussed was my rehabilitation programme and the importance of this, I knew the physiotherapist and he knew I would be completing the right work, he just wanted to emphasis that this must continue. The ESWT complimented my rehabilitation, it was not a replacement for it. The second thing I noticed, and this will not be true for everyone, but because my injury was right on the bone it was painful. After 3 initial sessions in a short time frame to settle the injury before holiday and start the process I returned for a further 6 four weeks later. At that point I was already in a better place, although there was still an obvious limp and on direct palpation of the area I just about went through the roof.

Today was my final session, so where have I got to. Well I am walking without pain for the first time in 2 years, I have been playing touch again and can walk normally after training now, and the next morning is the same as most, slightly stiff for 5 minutes and then no problem at all. I would say I am 85-90% recovered in terms of pain levels and activity and I am training again, having completed my first 6.5km run last week and again this week without any of the normal pain for the first ten minutes, and probably the slight hobble I think I am hiding, however I suspect not that well. There is a way to go, more rehabilitation now and beginning the next phase with the addition of directional change in my training while I continue to improve my hip mobility and deep calf strength and stability.

The good news is I have turned a corner and am now training to get ready for next season on the cricket pitch, will build the running and looking forward to continuing touch rugby again now we can play.

The other good news is the results have had such a positive impact on my injury Body Logic Health have now brought a ESWT machine to help our clients maximise the results they can achieve.

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