Shockwave therapy involves passing high-frequency sound waves through the skin to treat an
enormous range of disorders and injuries in urology, orthopaedics, physiotherapy, sports medicine, aesthetics and veterinary medicine.

Its main benefits are the ability to regenerate tissues in the musculoskeletal system, providing pain relief from chronic conditions, and restoring mobility and function. The new medical field of regenerative medicine is beginning to use a variety of treatments such as Shockwave therapy to help stimulate tissue repair and regeneration naturally rather than resort too early to a surgical option, if there is one.

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) as it is sometimes known, can treat a wide variety of degenerative diseases and musculoskeletal disorders from tendinopathies, muscle strains and stress
fractures to erectile dysfunction and chronic pelvic pain. At Physis Physiotherapy we use it to treat many musculoskeletal conditions we see in our patients alongside providing education, advice, manual and exercise therapy options as appropriate for each person. At Edinburgh Shockwave specialist clinicians treat a range of pelvic health conditions including erectile dysfunction, Peyronies Disease and Prostatitis.

What are shockwaves?

Focused shockwaves are high-energy sound waves, they are not electrical shocks. They have been used medically for the treatment of various conditions for over 40 years.

The shockwaves are generated by a hand held device outside of the body (extracorporeally) and then travel through the patient‘s skin into the damaged or diseased tissue. This is why the method is sometimes called Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy or ESWT for short.

There are two types of shockwaves, Radial and Focused:

Radial Shockwaves (Soft shock) are used to treat larger and more superficial indications. They are
typically not used for urological conditions such as erectile dysfunction (ED) as they are not shown to be significantly effective. But they are typically used for a range of musculoskeletal conditions such as Achilles tendinopathy for example.

Focused Shockwaves (Hard shock) have a smaller more targeted focal point for greater accuracy and greater treatment depth. The smaller targeted treatment area allows for a more comfortable
treatment and is therefore used for the treatment of urological conditions including men’s sexual
health conditions. It can also be used for scar treatment or bone disorders.
At Physis Physiotherapy we have both types of machine and we use the most appropriate device for
each patient depending on a range of factors.

What does shockwave do for erectile dysfunction (ED) patients?

Shockwave Therapy for ED involves passing painless, short, intense focused waves into the affected tissues. These waves increase blood flow, stimulate repair and tissue regeneration.

The energy from these shockwaves puts the body’s cells into repair mode and restarts or amplifies its own healing process. It stimulates repair and regeneration within the tissue hence it is commonly described in regenerative medicine terms.

Repairs: Shockwave therapy promotes the formation of new blood vessels (we call that angiogenesis), the new blood vessels promote the amount of blood flow to the area and thus contributing to an improvement of ED symptoms.

Regenerates: Many patients suffer from ED because the smooth muscle in their penile arteries has been damaged. Shockwave therapy has been shown to induce the body’s soft tissue repair processes. Therefore helping repair the smooth muscle in the penis and thus improve function.

Treatment with Shockwave Therapy can lead to a significant  improvement of the IIEF (International Index of Erectile Function) which lasts at least 3-12 months and alongside some lifestyle changes patients can get great results.