What Are The Side Effects Of Shockwave Therapy?
Like most treatments, shockwave therapy does have some possible side effects that you should be aware of. These are typically mild and temporary, and for most patients they are very manageable. Read on to find out the most common shockwave therapy side effects.
Shockwave therapy side effects
During shockwave treatment, it is normal to feel mild to moderate pain or discomfort. This is actually a good sign, as it means that the injured area is responding. Following your treatment, you should feel immediate pain relief and may not have any further discomfort. However, it’s quite normal if you do experience mild discomfort in the treated area for up to a week after your shockwave therapy, so don’t be concerned if you do notice mild side effects.
Common shockwave therapy side effects
The most common side effects of shockwave therapy include:
Again, these symptoms are simply a sign that the injured tissue is responding. They are generally mild, so they shouldn’t disrupt your daily life. They should stop within a week.
Rare side effects:
- Rupture to the treated tendon or ligament
- Damage to the soft tissue
Reducing pain and discomfort after shockwave therapy
While it’s OK to get back to your normal routine following shockwave therapy, it’s best to avoid strenuous activities or high-impact exercise for at least the first 48 hours. This will help to limit any pain or discomfort that you experience following your shockwave treatment.
If you do feel pain or discomfort after shockwave therapy, it’s fine to take painkillers such as paracetamol to manage this. However, avoid anti-inflammatory painkillers such as Ibuprofen, as these can impact the effectiveness of the treatment. If the pain is sudden or severe, or you experience loss of function, contact your GP or NHS 111 – they will be able to help you.
Ensuring your safety during shockwave therapy
Shockwave therapy has been approved as safe by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of a range of injuries, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy, tennis and golfer’s elbow, trochanteric bursitis, patella tendinopathy, calcification tendonitis of the shoulder, and shin splints.
However, you should not have shockwave therapy if you:
- Are pregnant
- Are under 18
- Are being treated for cancer or have been diagnosed with bone cancer
- Have a blood clotting disorder
- Are taking antiplatelets or anticoagulants
- Have had a steroid injection into the affected area in the past 12 weeks
- Have an infection or wound in the affected area
- Have hypersensitivity, numbness or tingling in the affected area
- Have a history of tendon or ligament rupture (if being treated for Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis)
Your physiotherapist will conduct a thorough assessment before your shockwave treatment to ensure that the therapy is safe for you. They will also talk you through the potential side effects that we have covered in this blog, so if you do have any questions about shockwave therapy side effects, be sure to ask your therapist during the initial assessment appointment.
Book a shockwave assessment with Midlands Shockwave & Physiotherapy Clinic
If you’d like to try shockwave therapy with Midlands Shockwave & Physiotherapy Clinic, call us on 0121 308 7774 or send us a message. The first session costs £75 and includes a full objective assessment to make sure the therapy is safe for you, and a shockwave treatment.