Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy

At Ascot Equine Veterinarian, we offer extracorporeal shock wave therapy as an adjunctive treatment for certain musculoskeletal injuries. The procedure is quick safe and minimally invasive. The equipment is also mobile and the procedure can be performed in the field setting.

What is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)?

Shockwave therapy IS NOT electrical. It is a non-invasive treatment for musculoskeletal, soft tissue and bone injuries, that uses a series of high-pressure sound waves, which pulse to a specific site within the injured tissues.

How does Shockwave Therapy work?

The pressure waves generated increase as they travel through tissues. These pressure changes lead to cavitation, and the formation and collapse of tiny gas bubbles within the tissues, which leads to ‘micro-trauma’ of the tissues. This ‘micro-trauma’ is of benefit to the injured tissue and helps to stimulate the cells responsible for healing and accelerate the body’s natural healing process. It also increases blood flow in the surrounding soft tissues, allowing for the introduction of nutrients for cell repair, all of which lead to gradual tissue regeneration and healing.

Shockwave Therapy is also clinically proven to reduce pain felt by nerve fibres. It’s analgesic (pain-relief) effects peak approximately 48 hours after treatment. Because of its analgesic effect, it has a withdrawal time for racing and competition under FEI rules.

What disorders can be treated?

Shockwave Therapy can be used to treat a wide variety of conditions, such as:

  • suspensory ligament desmitis
  • flexor tendinitis (eg bowed tendons)
  • navicular disease
  • sesamoid fractures
  • osteoarthritis
  • kissing spines
  • sacroiliac disease
  • back pain
  • cervical facet joint arthropathy (causing neck pain)
How often would my horse need treatment?

Treatment varies in the number of shockwaves administered and the energy of the shockwaves used.

For acute soft tissue injuries, at least three treatments at two to three-week intervals are recommended.

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy