Know More about Shockwave Therapy

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy or more commonly known as Shockwave Therapy is a non-invasive treatment modality that utilises acoustic sound waves to reduce pain and stimulate healing.

When should you use Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave Therapy can be a useful adjunct to the following:Picture1 | StudioXPhys

  • Calcifying and non-calcifying Tendinopathies of the Shoulder
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Hip – Greater Trochanter Pain Syndrome
  • Knee – Patellar Tendinopathy
  • Ankle – Achilles Tendinopathy
  • Foot – Plantar Fasciitis
  • Bone non-union

How does Shockwave Therapy work?

Compressed air accelerates a projectile within a cylindrical tube and it allows the projectile to hit the applicator at the end. This results in a pressure wave that is produced and expands into the target tissue.

This is thought to elicit changes in the body that include:

  1. Chondroprotective effect – Delays joint space narrowing and improves the biomechanics of joints.
  2. Neovascularization – New blood vessels arise. Increased blood flow to an area generally accelerates healing as blood carries nutrients to injured areas.
  3. Anti-inflammation – Reduces inflammation.
  4. Anti-apoptosis – Prevents cell death.
  5. Tissue and nerve regeneration.

Shockwave Therapy vs Ultrasound, what is the difference?

As the name suggests, Ultrasound is another modality of treatment that accomplishes its effects through waves. Their main difference is that shockwave achieves its effects through acoustic waves, whilst ultrasound does with very small sound waves that we cannot hear.

To name a few, Ultrasound can be beneficial for conditions related to:

  • Chronic inflammation, arthritis, trauma
  • Bone fracture healing
  • Superficial tendon injuries
  • Scars and scar tissue

Although similar, it is up to the discretion of your therapist to discuss with you which one is the most appropriate for your condition.


D, Moya. et al., (2018) The Role of Extracorporeal Shockwave Treatment in Musculoskeletal Disorders. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery Feb 2018.

Z, Izadifar., P, Babyn., & D, Chapman. (2016) Applications and Safety of Therapeutic Ultrasound: Current Trends and Future Potential. Clin Res Open Access 3(1): doi


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