How long is a visit?
The initial visit for focused,
piezoelectric ESWT usually takes
about an hour.
Much of this time is spent in consultation visit with our
The actual procedure is usually between 20 and 30 minutes per site
treated. It will take longer if you have several sites that need to be treated. For
example, if both of your heels hurt and require treatment, it will take longer
than if just one heel requires treatment.
What happens after my
visit? Am I laid up?
No, you're not laid
up. In fact, most patients experience a degree of relief
immediately following a treatment and can return to most regular
activities almost immediately. (The instant relief most patients
experience is usually a temporary effect; more permanent relief
typically begins about 72 hours following treatment.)
While most patients we
treat do not experience much in the way of side effects, there are occasional
patients who do experience some modest aching, burning or tenderness following
shockwave therapy. But this is usually temporary and it doesn't usually force patients to alter their
lifestyle to a significant degree.
Side effects seem to be
more common with
earlier forms of ESWT technology that cause
more trauma to surrounding tissues that the technology we use. Still, it's
generally a good idea to hold off on significant exercise for a short time
following the procedure to see how your body responds to the therapy.
What are the odds it will help my condition?
odds of success depend upon what tissue is being treated,
what condition you have, the severity of your condition, the
protocol being used in your treatment, and the way you
of these variables, there
are a handful of studies (usually quoted by an insurance
company trying to find a way to justify not paying for ESWT
treatment) that suggest that the effectiveness of ESWT isn't
But the vast majority of recent studies--over 70 studies
were presented at the 2006 international shockwave seminar
in Brazil alone and over 80 were presented the year before
in Vienna--suggest that shockwave is highly effective.
have an injury appropriate to extra-corporeal shockwave technology treatment,
most recent independent studies suggest somewhere between a 65% and a 95%
"success" range, with values around 80% being the most commonly cited number.
And it's important to note that most of these studies have success rates
as determined by the patient, himself, in terms of pain and
that our results with the highly accurate piezoelectric
technology, are at least this successful. However, we
typically can't predict which patients will respond successfully to
ESWT and which ones won't.
We find that the most important factor in getting a good result
with ESWT appears to be in selecting appropriate patients most likely to benefit
from this technology.
How many visits will I
need to improve my condition?
depending upon the specifics of your condition.
rule, though, we have
found that approximately 20% of our patients only require one
visit to resolve their condition. Some require two visits.
Most require three visits, and we usually schedule three visits for
patients visiting us from a distance.
Generally if a
patient doesn't find any significant relief in three visits, he may be
one of those whose condition does not
respond to this therapy.
subsequent visits be scheduled?
We usually space them out by
about a week. But this may be adjusted as needed, particularly for
patients who visit us from out of town or out of the country. In
those cases, we can arrange for multiple visits over a long weekend or spread
them over longer time spans.
conditions, (our specialty), treatments are typically performed by
Dr. S. A.
Schumacher, a licensed podiatric physician and surgeon board certified by both
major boards in the podiatric profession, and one of the most experienced
practitioners in North America in piezoelectric extra-corporeal shockwave
therapy in general, and in using this machine in particular. He is a
member of the International Society for Musculoskeletal Shockwave Therapy (ISMST)
of Vienna, Austria.
Treatment for other conditions may be performed by other
specialists, depending upon the specific condition in question.
Can I just make an
appointment and have ESWT performed or do I need a referral?
Patients need to be properly examined and diagnosed by a medical
professional to be certain ESWT will work for you and that you have
no contraindications to the therapy.
If you do not have anyone treating your
condition, we can arrange to have you seen by a practitioner appropriate to your
In fact, if you have a foot condition, you can be
assessed on site. This is because Shockwave Therapy
- BC shares our brand-new
3,800 square-foot premises
Achilles Foot Health Centre,
a foot specialty clinic operated by
Dr. S. A. Schumacher, (see above).
If you have a
foot-related problem, you may arrange for a preliminary appointment
for foot-related problems through that office. Please feel free to
Achilles Foot Health Centre
website or call 604-589-5234 to arrange for an appointment.