What percentage of your patients have shockwave treatments?
I would say that 50% of my patients are now ‘shockwave patients’. But this is because I have developed a patient list/practice that specialises in chronic tendinopathies and plantar fasciitis. Many patients are not candidates for shockwave and I’m a passionate advocate against using it on ‘everyone for anything’ just because you have a machine.
What conditions do you see the most?
I see an enormous number of lower extremity problems from plantar fasciitis to GTPS (gluteal tendinopathy) and shin splints. I am also starting to see more calcific tendonitis patients as I now use ultrasound imaging to assess all my patients.
What conditions do you think respond the best to shockwave therapy?
Certainly, plantar fasciitis and GTPS are the best responders and the most common. They are relatively easy to treat as they are easily accessed, plus patients tend to find the treatment less painful than other areas.
How has shockwave advanced your practice?
It has shone a light on many conditions we Osteopaths are historically poor at. I’m sure that might raise a few eyebrows but my undergraduate education on tendon related disease and its management was very little. Getting involved in shockwave encourages you to upskill in soft tissue-based pathology and evidence-based rehab strategies. I still combine traditional Osteopathic thought and skills to treat these conditions but I think it right that we should strive to increase our knowledge, based upon the evidence, to ensure we appropriately treat these patient groups. Shockwave has certainly broadened my practice life and kept me interested! If I was still seeing 20-30 lower back pain patients per week, I would be bored stupid. This week alone I will see one delayed tibial bone union (focused shockwave works well on these) 3 calcific tendonitis patients and 2 proximal hamstring tendinopathies. Alongside ultrasound imaging this is an exciting week for me!