Shockwave Therapy

In recent years our ability to diagnose conditions has improved markedly (digital x-rays, high resolution ultrasound etc.), but limited by our treatment options. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) brings a new treatment option that is minimally invasive with proven results. ESWT has become an established tool for treatments of a variety of injuries in the horse.

The shock wave machine uses a high energy pulse which produces a wave, which can be diverted to the precise area of injury. The waves passing through tissue are amplified where the tissue density changes substantially ( such as tendon or ligament to bone insertions). This results in a large amount of energy released into the surrounding tissue, creating a local massage effect increasing cellular membrane permeability. This allows better delivery of those blood borne factors required for healing.

Shock wave therapy has been shown to:

  1. Increase the rate of new blood vessel development (neovascularisation).
  2. Create short to medium term analgesia (painkilling effect).
  3. Stimulate new bone growth (osteogenesis).
  4. Stimulate fibroblasts, the cells that generate new connective tissue in tendons and ligaments.
  5. Stimulates tissue turnover and thus improves the rate of healing.

Conditions ESWT has been effective treating include:

  1. Suspensory ligament desmitis (strains/tears).
  2. Flexor tendon injuries (bowed tendons).
  3. Back, sacroiliac and neck problems.
  4. Splints.
  5. Sesamoiditis.
  6. Navicular syndrome/disease.

The procedure is quick (10-20mins.) and safe, and is done in the standing horse under light sedation. Most conditions require 2-3 treatments at 2-3 week intervals. As the equipment is portable the procedure can be performed at your property.