American Gymnast Mykayla Skinner Uses Shockwave Therapy to Treat Achilles Tendonitis
American gymnast Mykayla Skinner earned the silver medal in the vault at the 2020 Tokyo olympics. During the broadcast, it was revealed that she struggled with insertional achilles tendonitis in her training and lead up to the games. An image of her undergoing “shockwave therapy” was shown as well.
Shockwave therapy is something we use commonly to treat tendonitis, especially tendonitis in the foot and ankle. Some of the most common indications are achilles tendonitis (both insertional and watershed/non-insertional) and plantar fasciitis. Shockwave (also known as ESWT - extracorporeal shockwave therapy) is a non-invasive modality that sends shockwaves directly to the injured/painful tendon and promotes healing by inducing a healing/inflammatory response. Whereas a steroid injection just masks pain, shockwave attempts to heal the injured tissue. As noted in MyKayla’s videos and images, it can be uncomfortable as the intensity of the treatment is dialed up to each patient's tolerance.
If you have chronic achilles tendonitis that has not responded to other conservative treatment modalities (rest, stretching, physical therapy), shockwave treatment might be a good options for you. We at OFAC have been using shockwave for years to help our patients heal these conditions without surgery.