Shockwave Therapy

What is it?

Extracorpeal radial shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment that is both safe and effective for the treatment of a number of soft- tissue and tendon related conditions. A shockwave is a mechanical soundwave that is applied to the injury site.


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More about it

During each session a treatment dose of shockwaves (highly pressurised acoustic soundwaves) is delivered to the injury site. This treatment starts an inflammation-like response in the area. The aim of this is to stimulate a healing and remodelling response within the tissue.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Research has shown that shockwave therapy can be particularly effective in conditions including:

• Plantar fasciitis
• Heel spurs
• Achilles tendinopathy
• Tibial Stress Syndrome (Shin Pain)
• Patellar tendinopathy
• Hamstring tendinopathy
• Tennis and Golfers elbow (medial and lateral epicondylalgia)
• Biceps tendinopathy
• Supraspinatus tendinopathy
• Calcific tendonitis of the shoulder
• Trochanteric bursitis

During the course of the treatment session which typically last 5-10mins, patients can experience some pain. It is generally well tolerated, if required the physiotherapist can adjust the intensity of the treatment. You may experience some mild swelling, redness of the skin or bruising for a short while after the treatment.

The shockwave will trigger an inflammatory response within the body. For this reason, do not use anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen) or ice therapy, as these can interfere with the body's healing process. The pain should subside within 24-48 hours. Use Paracetamol if necessary, provided you have no trouble with this medication. 

The inflammatory response can lead to mild discomfort lasting 24-48 hours after treatment. It is recommended that you avoid intense, pain provoking or high-impact activities for 48 hours after each treatment session even if there is no pain.

There are certain conditions or instances where shockwave therapy may not be appropriate. These include:

• pregnancy
• taking antiplatelets excluding aspirin 75mgs (e.g. clopidogrel) or anticoagulants (e.g.warfarin)
• a blood clotting disorder
• cancer
• a cardiac pacemaker or other cardiac device
• an infection in the injured area
• had steroid injections in the area in previous 12 weeks

Shockwave Therapy FAQs