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What are the risks of using shockwave therapy on children.

I am seeing that colleagues are using it on very young children with spasticity. I wonder if it is safe to use and from which age?

esther de ru

2 years ago

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dear Tim, thank you so much for reacting. It is very new and I am presuming that in their enthusiasm, colleagues are using it on children because it has such nice effects on adults. I do not use myself. I has been demonstrated on me and I was impressed by the force. I have read a number of adult studies and the one you mention above. The long term effects have not been studied and I do wonder if we can do harm. Do you have any idea what the effects (presuming that it is a forceful mechanical effect) could be on bone and muscles?

Prof Tim Watson
Prof Tim Watson

This is not something that I have used BUT I have 25+ papers on the use of shockwave for muscle spasticity effects. Many relate to post stroke spasticity and therefore in adults. The 2015 paper by Park et al (Park et al. (2015). "Therapeutic Effect of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy According to Treatment Session on Gastrocnemius Muscle Spasticity in Children With Spastic Cerebral Palsy: A Pilot Study." Ann Rehabil Med 39(6): 914-921) involved 12 children with a mean age of 7 years with SD of 2 - 3 (the paper does not give a lot more detail). The treatment appears to be effective (certainly up to a point) and no adverse effects were reported that I can see. ?? any help ??

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