I have treated many cases of Achilles tendinopathy (tendonitis) using pulse wave therapy also known as shock wave therapy or extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT).
In 2015, Mani-Babu et al. reported results that there is evidence for short-term improvements in Achilles problems with ESWT.
A 2017 Health Technology Assessment (HTA) review showed efficacy of ESWT for treating Achilles tendinopathy. They showed significant pain improvement while running or playing sports.
For patients with Achilles tendon pain or dysfunction I recommend a trial of therapy. This may involve the use of sound therapy (shock wave, pulse therapy, pulsed EMF, radial therapy) along with light therapy (laser). This is why I call my specialty sound & light therapy. I teach my patients stretches and strengthening exercises for this condition. I also use nutrition and topicals to help patients get out of pain as quickly as possible.
Radial Pulse Therapy also known as Radial Shockwave Therapy has and is gaining popularity for the adjunct treatment of superficial orthopedic conditions especially myofascial conditions and tendinopathy. This is do to: some clients need overly dense fascia, scar tissue, soft tissue and joint adhesions broken up; doctors like using new technology; and some clients need a device with specific magnitude of forces (Joules) and a controlled speed (Hertz) applied to the muscle/tendon/bone unit in order to achieve the goals of restimulating the healing process.
As practitioners, it is important to correctly identify the patient’s biggest dysfunction. I often ask myself, “What’s the biggest issue?” Is it pain related to repetitive trauma, microtrauma, macrotrauma, obesity, poor nutrition, lack of motor control, poor strength, poor mobility, etc. Once the treatment plan is initiated, we must have positive short term responses from our treatment decision to obtain long term adaptation. In this regard, I have the experience of working with Radial Pulse Therapy for rotator cuff tendinopathy, achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis, patellar tendinopathy, tennis elbow, iliolumbar and thoracolumbar fascial dysfunctions. I like being able to offer treatment options especially after patients have tried medications and glucocorticoid injection therapy for tendinopathy, trigger points and fascial adhesions.
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The Radial Pulse Therapy (RPT) also known as Shockwave Therapy does not apply electric shocks. The RPT I use in my practice is applied by holding a lightweight hand-piece against the skin that (houses electromagnets, instead of a compressor, to accelerate a projectile inside the hand-piece that hits an applicator tip) creates a unique radial wave that penetrates into the surrounding target tissue.