ShockWave Therapy

Commonly Asked Questions About Shockwave Therapy

What is Shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a treatment prescribed and applied by a physiotherapist. It is also known as shockwave“Extracorpeal Shockwave”.  It is a non-invasive treatment that applies intense short pressure acoustic waves to tissues. Shockwave therapy helps with soft tissue pathologies. The overall purpose of this treatment is to trigger the body’s own healing response. Many patients have reported pain reduction and better movement after the first treatment

How does it work?
Shockwave has a wand that delivers the short pressure acoustic waves to the skin surface of the tissue that is being treated.  These intense short pressure acoustic waves cause an increase in blood flow and re-capillarization in the tissue that is being treated. These acoustic waves also increase cell permeability, stimulate collagen production and break down calcium deposits in the treated tissue. All these effects help the injured tissue to heal more quickly and effectively.

What conditions does Shockwave therapy treat?
There are many conditions that Shockwave therapy has been effective in treating:

  • Insertion Tendonopathies:
    -Plantarfascitis (heel spurs)
    -Achilles tendonitis/tendonosis
    -Calcific tendonitis/tendonosis
    -Patellar tendonopathy
  • Connective tissue pain and degeneration
  • Muscle pain and injuries
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Trigger Points
  • Non-union/delayed union of fractures

What is involved before, during and after a treatment?

The Physiotherapist will assess your painful area and determine if Shockwave is recommended for your injury and how many sessions may be needed.

Treatment sessions are short approximately 5-10 minutes long per body part. You will feel repeated pulses. Most patients experience minimum discomfort.  However, some patients may experience slight pain and/or irritability during the session as the tissue is being treated.

You may experience some bruising or redness in the area which typically resolves after a few days. Overall your original pain and symptoms should gradually improve.

How many sessions will you need?
The number of sessions you will benefit from will depend on your condition. Treatments are normally done 5-10 days apart. Normally 3-7 sessions are required.

shockwave-shoulderShockwave can provide significant pain reduction and promote tissue healing. This can result in improved mobility and function overall. Patients who receive Shockwave therapy treatments can usually resume normal activities immediately after treatment sessions.

Who should not use Shockwave therapy?

People with bleeding disorders
People taking blood thinners
People with cancer or tumors
Pregnant women
People with acute inflammation or infection in the area to be treated


For more detailed information please reference:
Efficacy and safety of extracorporeal shock wave therapy for orthopedic conditions: A systematic review on studies listed in the PEDro database.

Christoph Schmitz,†* Nikolaus B. M. Császár, Stefan Milz, Matthias Schieker, Nicola Maffulli,§¶ Jan-Dirk Rompe,|| and John P. Furia††

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or would like to come by and speak to us about Shockwave therapy.