It’s no secret: athletes do get injured when they’re pushing their bodies to the limits. Sports doctors and sports podiatrists are part of any top team – and from Olympic contests to track or field items, shockwave therapy is among the treatments used to get athletes back into action following injury. At first glance, it may sound rather extreme, but Sydney podiatrist Mark Lin says it’s much gentler than its name might lead one to believe.
“Many patients are concerned when they first hear about shockwave therapy,” says Lin. “The term ‘shockwaves’ leads them to believe that this is a radical treatment that may be painful, but after experiencing the treatment, they realise that it’s quite a gentle form of therapy.”
How Shockwave Therapy Promotes Healing
In shockwave therapy, a handheld device emits acoustic waves that are directed at the injured tissues. Lin says that the procedure is non-invasive and instead of inflicting pain, it provides pain relief. The patient may feel a little uncomfortable during the treatment and somewhat achy afterward, but with the body’s natural healing process stimulated, healing is faster.
The shockwaves increase metabolic activity and the circulation of blood to the injured area helping damaged cells to regenerate faster. There’s also a neurological effect that decreases pain sensations while inflammation is also reduced. And for those suffering from calcific tendonitis, a condition in which calcium deposits in tendons cause pain and limitation of movement, the shockwaves can break up the calcium deposits that are causing discomfort.
“This treatment has been scientifically proven, and it doesn’t result in any downtime or have any unpleasant side-effects. It simply promotes healing, allowing the injury to be repaired the natural way,” says Lin. He’s proud of the fact that the Footwork Clinic, his Sydney podiatry practice, invests in the best equipment, and the devices used for shockwave therapy are no exception. “It’s possible to get equipment that will do the job for less,” he says “but the Footwork Clinic invests in the best because its patients deserve the best.”
Recalcitrant Injuries Healed
Musculoskeletal injuries to the feet and lower limbs don’t always require shockwave therapy to heal. But when they persist after other options have been tried, kickstarting the healing process makes excellent sense. Lin is particularly impressed with the results his clinic has achieved in treating chronic soft tissue injuries, plantar fasciitis, and achilles tendonitis. “Before shockwave therapy was available, these injuries would have called for extended rest, the use of cortisone injections, or even surgery. Thanks to shockwave therapy, we are often able to achieve natural healing in situations which would previously have called for surgery or the use of drugs,” says Lin.
How to Deal with Persistent or Repeated Foot or Lower Limb Injuries
It’s not just sportspeople who suffer from musculoskeletal injuries. In most instances, the injuries are mild, and will heal on their own, but repeated injuries or persistent ones indicate a need to reach out for help. Sometimes, doctors refer their patients to Lin, and sometimes, people living with pain or who find themselves prone to injury arrive at his clinic on their own initiative. “A podiatry assessment is never a bad idea,” says Lin. “Many people only visit the Clinic because they’re already in pain. Quite often, their injuries could have been prevented altogether.”
Once at the clinic, Mark and his team get to work. “Therapists aim to relieve pain first,” says Lin. “After that, they work to address the cause of pain, restoring full mobility and reducing the chance of repeat injuries. Shockwave therapy is only one of the treatments that may be used – the program depends on the individual case. However, the Clinic has found this advance particularly useful in treating certain injuries. Unless they are professional athletes, most patients will not have heard of this treatment before it is suggested as part of their therapy. Nevertheless, knowing that non-invasive methods like this could free them from inconvenience and pain may bring new hope and encourage them to get help.”
The Footwork Clinic, situated in Chatswood on Sydney’s North Shore and Sydney CBD, is there to help should you have an injury or condition that you think would benefit from heat or ice treatment. They offer advanced manual therapies and a holistic and corrective care approach, with a proven track record of success in resolving acute and chronic conditions, and they will gladly offer advice to get you on the road to recovery as soon as possible.
For further information, visit the The Footwork Clinic – Leading Sports, Podiatry, Foot And Lower Limb Corrective Services to book online, or call Mark Lin or his friendly team on +61 2 9131 6891.
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The information contained in this guide is provided in good faith and is not intended to be nor is it to be used as a substitute for any sort of professional, medical or podiatric advice. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a podiatrist. Any users should always seek the advice of their podiatrist, or other qualified healthcare providers before commencing any treatment.
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