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  • Writer's pictureChristie Mutti

A Beginner’s Guide to Shockwave Therapy

Have you always wondered what shockwave therapy was, but never got a straightforward answer? Or have you asked: “What does shockwave therapy feel like?”

Being a team of chiropractors in Sherwood Park, Alberta, we believe it is our responsibility to provide a detailed explanation about the treatment to our respective clients. In this article, we’ve broken down what shockwave therapy is, what to expect before and after treatment and any other details to help you better understand just how the procedure works.

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy, also commonly referred to EST (Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy), is a common treatment for the kidney as well as gall bladder against stones. This treatment is further used in physical therapy and orthopedics to treat all kinds of tissue- or bone-related conditions (for instance, it is also often used to treat Tendonitis and Plantar Fasciitis).

For many patients who have undergone a wound healing process, this short-term treatment is one of the best ways to help them alleviate pain and improve their quality of life.

How Often Can You Have Shockwave Therapy?

On average, the treatment takes about 3 to 6 weeks — where once every week, tests are carried out and results are given. The test takes about 5 minutes, once every week.

However, the treatment can take longer if the pain or discomfort experienced is more than what the body can handle. In essence, you don’t stop the procedure until you become wholly comfortable.

What Can I Expect During SWT Treatment?

Many patients wonder what to expect before undergoing shockwave therapy treatment. Firstly, SWT is not invasive in the procedure – which means there is no direct painful penetration into the skin. All that is done is the application of a gel medium over a patient’s skin. Next, the gel medium helps with the transfer of acoustic waves at low or high energy pulsations.

It’s also essential to know that the treatment induces microtrauma to the tissues around the injured area. Therefore, it is quite useful in making sure healing responses are initiated, as well ensuring the enrichment of the treated area.

Is SWT Painful?

Some common questions we hear include: “Is SWT Painful?” or “Is shockwave therapy safe?” To answer concisely, the treatment is delivered in two ways using the same procedure – high energy therapy and low energy therapy. If the former is carried out, there are chances that some pain will be experienced — hence, anesthesia is often needed to help relieve the pain. On the other hand, patients typically experience little-to-no pain with low energy therapy.

It’s also important to note that while rare, side effects sometimes do occur. There are often cases of mild swelling, bruising or numbness of the area when undergoing treatment. However, the good news is that these effects are only temporary.

What are the Benefits of SWT?

If shockwave therapy was not beneficial, it wouldn’t have been considered as a useful treatment procedure in physiotherapy. This treatment has been recommended in different ways to help improve their quality of life. The following are some of the most notable benefits of using this non-invasive procedure:

  • Elimination of mild to severe pain in the shoulders, back, knees, elbows and other different parts of the body

  • Reduction of inflammation and tenderness

  • It is a cost-effective treatment

Book a Session Today

Are you looking for the best place in Sherwood Park, AB to receive shockwave therapy treatment? Contact Refresh Health & Wellness today! We are always available to help people get their life back on track with physical therapy and our additional treatment options. You can also reach us at 780-467-8020 or send an email to to get started. We can’t wait to help you feel well again.

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