Extracorporeal Shockwave and its Effectiveness Treating Injuries


Shockwave therapy is a multidisciplinary modality that is often used in sports medicine, physical therapy, and orthopaedics. It offers fast pain relief and restores mobility, making it an excellent option for those suffering from tendinitis/tendinosis injuries, such as tennis elbow and plantar fasciitis. Shockwave therapy is non-surgical and does not require pain medication – it is the ideal therapy to expedite recovery time when treating acute (tendinitis) and chronic (tendinosis) tendon pain.

The Extracorporeal Shockwave is a high-energy acoustic wave that pushes energy to injured, painful tissues. This energy influences the regeneration processes of the injured bones and soft tissues by increasing blood flow to that area and reducing inflammation. The acoustic waves create micro-ruptures in the tissue capillaries, which produce new blood vessels. The new vessels increase oxygenation and blood supply to the area being treated. This in turn initiates healing and reduces chronic pain for the patient.

What to Expect

Before starting treatment, your provider will first palpate to identify the injured tissues to ensure the appropriate structures are being treated. A topical gel is then applied and used to transfer the shockwaves efficiently without energy loss. Next, the shockwave applicator is slightly pressed against the treatment area to deliver the acoustic waves. 

Each therapy session takes about 10 minutes, depending on the condition being treated. Medical professionals suggest one treatment weekly for four consecutive weeks. 80% of patients report complete elimination of pain or significant pain reduction after only 2 to 3 sessions. Most cases have a 75- 90% success rate.

Medical Benefits

As mentioned, the high-energy acoustic waves that are used in Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy accelerate tissue repair and cell growth, as well as pain reduction and mobility restoration. Patients and providers alike praise the benefits of shockwave therapy because it is non-surgical, non-invasive, and promotes healing of injured tissues.


Treatment of Common Tendonitis Injuries 

Tennis Elbow - Tennis elbow is a common condition that generally affects people between the ages of 30 and 50. It is a painful condition that stems from the overuse of the elbow joint. Several sports and activities can put a patient at risk for this condition. The forearm tendons become damaged after performing the same motions again and again. There are several treatment options for tennis elbow, including resting the elbow, pain medication, and steroid injections. These treatments are inconvenient, and can have negative long-term side effects for the patient. Shockwave therapy is an effective alternative, providing prompt pain relief after only a few treatments. 

Plantar Fasciitis - The plantar fascia is the thick band-like tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes in the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia becomes irritated or inflamed. This painful inflammation can be caused by various things, including carrying extra weight, prolonged standing, change in training regimen, or wearing unsupportive shoes. Plantar Fasciitis pain can be severe, but the treatment is simple with shockwave therapy.

If you are suffering from acute or chronic tendon pain, Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy may be for you. Take the first step towards pain relief. Request an appointment with an Active Health provider today!

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