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Shockwave Therapy to Promote Healing

Updated: Jan 3

A woman receiving shockwave therapy for shoulder pain

Shockwave Therapy also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), is a medical treatment that uses shockwaves to treat various musculoskeletal conditions and promote healing. 

The term "extracorporeal" means outside the body, and shockwaves are high-energy acoustic waves generated by a device and directed toward the targeted body area.

Here's how Shockwave Therapy works and who it may benefit:

How It Works:

  1. Shockwave Generation:

  • Shockwaves are created by a device and transmitted through the skin to the affected area.

  • The shockwaves generate mechanical pressure and cause microtrauma at the cellular level.

  1. Stimulating Healing Response:

  • The mechanical pressure stimulates blood circulation and accelerates the body's natural healing processes.

  • It may also induce the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) and enhance the production of growth factors.

  1. Pain Reduction and Tissue Repair:

  • ESWT is believed to have analgesic (pain-relieving) effects and can help reduce inflammation.

  • It may contribute to the repair of damaged tissues, such as tendons and bones.

Conditions Shockwave Therapy May Benefit:

  1. Plantar Fasciitis:

  • ESWT is often used to treat chronic heel pain caused by conditions like plantar fasciitis.

  1. Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis):

  • It may benefit individuals with chronic elbow pain, particularly tennis elbow.

  1. Calcific Shoulder Tendinopathy:

  • ESWT can be used to treat calcific deposits in the shoulder tendons.

  1. Achilles Tendinopathy:

  • Conditions affecting the Achilles tendon, such as tendinopathy, may respond positively to ESWT.

  1. Bone Healing:

  • ESWT promotes bone healing, especially in non-union fractures.

Who May Benefit best for Shockwave Therapy:

  1. Chronic Pain Sufferers:

  • Individuals experiencing chronic musculoskeletal pain that has not responded well to conservative treatments may consider ESWT.

  1. Athletes:

  • Athletes with overuse injuries, such as tendonitis, may find ESWT helpful in accelerating recovery.

  1. Patients Averse to Surgery:

  • ESWT is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for specific conditions.

  1. Individuals Seeking Conservative Treatment:

  • Those who prefer non-surgical and non-pharmacological interventions may find ESWT appealing.


  • Effectiveness may vary: The effectiveness of ESWT can vary among individuals and depends on factors such as the specific condition, its severity, and the patient's overall health.

  • Consultation with a healthcare professional: Before undergoing ESWT, individuals should consult with a healthcare professional to determine if it's a suitable treatment option for their specific condition.

  • Possible side effects: While generally considered safe, ESWT may have mild side effects, such as temporary discomfort or bruising at the treatment site.

It's crucial to note that while Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) has shown promising results in some cases, more research is needed to understand its mechanisms and effectiveness for various conditions fully. 

Always consult a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your situation.

Consult with our team at Parkway Back and Foot Clinic to ask any questions and find out if Shockwave Therapy is the treatment for your individual condition.

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