Shock Wave Therapy

Shock Wave Therapy can help!

Originally developed about 25 years ago, shockwave therapy was first used to break up kidney stones. Physicians later discovered that it benefits people with soft tissue and bone pain, such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, and chronic shoulder tendonitis.

Because the effects of shockwave therapy are best documented in tissue density changes (where bone meets tendons or ligaments, for example), it is effective for relieving pain in these conditions and eliminating risk factors associated with surgery.

Plantar fasciitis

A painful condition in which your heel may swell, feel hot, or hurt, plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thin layer of tough tissue supporting the arch of your foot. The heel pain is most intense when you first get out of bed, but subsides slightly after activity; although prolonged standing may make things worse.

Achilles tendonitis

The Achilles tendon is an extension of the two calf muscles, running down the back of the lower leg and attaching to the heel. Achilles tendonitis is when this tendon is inflamed or injured. Because this tendon allows you to rise up on your toes—which you need to do to walk—Achilles tendonitis can interfere with your ability to walk.

Tennis elbow

Although it starts out as mild discomfort, tennis elbow gradually worsens, to the point where chronic sufferers may have severe pain that never subsides. In cases such as these, the pain is at the outside of the elbow, just below where the bone protrudes. The pain is prominent when reaching and grasping or when carrying objects, even light ones.

Chronic shoulder tendonitis

Chronic shoulder tendonitis occurs when tissue in the tendons at the top of the upper arm starts to degenerate. Sometimes it causes pain, and sometimes, it restricts shoulder movement.

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is becoming a preferred treatment option for joint pain and inflammation because it’s a non-invasive procedure that eliminates many of the risks and expenses of surgery.

How effective is Shockwave Therapy  -ESWT?

In a study published by the US FDA, 150 participants were asked to rate their pre-treatment pain on a scale of 1 to 10. Those in the ESWT group had an average score of 7.7, and those in the placebo group had an average score of 7.4, so roughly the same level of pain. After the 12-week trial period, the placebo group reported a pain average score of 5, a 32% improvement. The ESWT group, on the other hand, reported an average of 3.5, an improvement of 55%! ESWT performed more than 40% better than the placebo.

ESWT is effective, and it has fewer risks and side effects than conventional treatments.

What will happen when I have Shockwave Therapy, ESWT?

During treatment, you lie on the machine, which is covered with a soft water-filled membrane. The technician uses a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort. They will use an ultrasound to view and target the affected tissue. You will hear repetitive clicking sounds during your treatment, which is normal. At all times, the technician will monitor your comfort levels to ensure your treatment is as pleasant an experience as possible.

How long is recovery after Shockwave Therapy, ESWT?

Because ESWT encourages your body to create new tissue in the damaged area, it can take some time for the damaged tissue to disappear and the new tissue to take its place. The process may last for days, weeks, or even a few months. While most ESWT patients see significant improvement with 13 weeks, some experience no pain almost immediately. And while the pain may have subsided in just a few weeks, complete healing may take up to a full year. Even so, unlike surgery, you don’t need to book long periods off of work for your recovery.

When should I consider Shockwave Therapy, ESWT?

If your condition has persisted for over 6 months, and you have tried at least 3 consecutive therapies without results, book an ESWT consultation with our team.

Ignoring tendonosis conditions while continuing to use degenerative tendon tissue can cause further damage, so it’s important to not procrastinate treatment. If your inflammation progresses to a rupture, it will be too late for ESWT, and invasive surgery will be your only option. In addition, as you try compensating for your pain by using other body parts (e.g walking on your toes to avoid heel pain), you may introduce muscle and joint strain to other parts of your body.

If your pain is less than 6 months old, we might even be able to treat it without ESWT. Book your consultation today.

How will ESWT work when other treatments haven’t?

Other treatments (such as strapping, physio, anti-inflammatories, cortisone) typically target inflammation. Acute tendonitis is inflammation that is under 6 months old. Persistent pain is often chronic tendonitis, when the inflamed tissue has become degenerative tissue. Inflammation-based therapies will be ineffective against degenerative tissue. ESWT, however, encourages the damaged tendon to repair the damaged tissue.

Conditions treated by Shockwave Therapy:

  • Feet (heel spur/plantar fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, etc.)

  • Toe (Hallux Limitus)

  • Elbow (tennis/golfers elbow)

  • Shoulder (calcific tendinosis of the shoulder)

  • Knee (patellar tendonitis)

  • Lower Leg (shin splint syndrome)

  • Upper Leg (Iliotibial band friction syndrome)

  • Back Pain (lumbar and cervical spine pathologies, chronic muscular pain, etc. )

  • Bones (delayed unions, non-unions, etc.)

  • Chronic Tendons and Ligaments sprains/strains

  • Musculoskeletal

  • Hip (bursitis, intra-extrarotation and other hip pathologies)

  • Other – cronic skin lesions, myofascial pain syndrome, burn injuries, peyronie’s disease, reduction of scar tissue, etc.

> Dr. G. Haupt et al., Germany, Radial Shockwave Therapy for the treatment of heel spur (Fasciitis plantaris). Journal “Der niedergelassene Chirurg”, No. 30. 2002. Dr. Lohrer, Sportmedizinisches Institut, Frankfurt (Germany). Download the PDF
> Dr. H. Lohrer, Achillodynia and patellar tendinitis – results of the treatment of chronic cases with radial shockwaves. Journal “Sportverletzung, Sportschaden” No. 16, October 2002. Download the PDF
> Dr. P. Magosch, ATOS Clinic Heidelberg (Germany). Radial Shockwave Therapy in Calcific Tendinitis of the Rotator Cuff. 2003 Download the PDF
> Prof. Dr. Rompe, OrthoTrauma Clinic, Grünstadt. Achillodynia – Results of a comparison study! Orthopädie Report, October 2006.
> Dr. L. Gerdesmeyer / Dr. L. Scott Weil et al. Summary of Clinical Study Results / FDA – PMA Approval,
Treatment of painful heel, May 2007 Download the PDF
> Dr. Maier / Gillesberger, Abstractbook, Shockwave foundations 2003, ISBN 3-8330-0423-1
> Dr. L. Gerdesmeyer, Extrakorporale Stosswellentherapie, 2004, ISBN 3-8334-1088-4
> Dr. Herisson, Ondes de choc extra-corporelles en médicie orthopédique, 2004, ISBN 2-84023-365-7
> Dr. L. Gerdesmeyer / Dr. L. Scott Weil, Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, 2007, ISBN 978-1-57400-115-0