Shockwave therapy, also known as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), is a non-invasive medical treatment used to accelerate healing and relieve pain in various musculoskeletal conditions. Here’s a detailed overview of what shockwave therapy involves and how it works:

How It Works

  1. Generation of Shockwaves: A device generates high-energy acoustic waves, which are then focused and transmitted to the affected area through a handheld applicator.

  2. Transmission to Target Area: The shockwaves penetrate the skin and underlying tissues, reaching the targeted area, such as tendons, ligaments, muscles, or bones.

  3. Therapeutic Effects:

    • Pain Reduction: Shockwaves can desensitize nerve endings, reducing the sensation of pain.
    • Enhanced Blood Flow: The therapy increases blood circulation in the treated area, promoting the delivery of oxygen and nutrients essential for healing.
    • Tissue Regeneration: Shockwaves stimulate the body’s natural healing processes by inducing the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) and encouraging the repair of damaged tissues.
    • Breakdown of Calcifications: Shockwaves can help dissolve calcium deposits in tendons and other soft tissues, which are often sources of pain and inflammation.

Conditions Treated

Shockwave therapy is beneficial for patients with painful soft tissue (muscle, tendons and ligaments),
joint and bone conditions. The therapy can help those with sports or overuse injuries and can benefit
those undergoing physiotherapy for a range of complaints.
Most commonly, shockwave therapy is used to help treat the following conditions:

  • Plantar Fasciitis: Heel pain caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia.
  • Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis): Pain in the outer elbow due to overuse.
  • Calcific Tendonitis: Calcium deposits in tendons, commonly in the shoulder.
  • Achilles Tendinopathy: Pain and swelling in the Achilles tendon.
  • Patellar Tendinopathy (Jumper’s Knee): Knee pain related to the patellar tendon.
  • Shoulder Tendinitis: Inflammation of the shoulder tendons.
  • Iliotibial band Syndrome or ITBS: Pain that stretches from the outside of the hip down the
    outer thigh to the outside of the knee caused by running and cycling. 
  • Medial tibial stress syndrome: Shin splints.
  • Bony Heel Spurs


  • Non-Invasive: No surgery or incisions, reducing the risk of complications.
  • Quick Sessions: Treatments typically last about 15-20 minutes.
  • Minimal Downtime: Patients can usually resume normal activities shortly after treatment.
  • Effective Pain Relief: Often provides significant pain reduction and improved function.
  • Stimulates Healing: Encourages natural healing processes without the need for medications or invasive procedures.


  1. Consultation and Assessment: A healthcare professional evaluates the patient’s condition to determine if shockwave therapy is appropriate.
  2. Preparation: The target area is identified and marked. Ultrasound gel is applied to the skin to ensure efficient transmission of shockwaves.
  3. Application: The device’s applicator is positioned on the treatment area, and shockwaves are delivered.
  4. Post-Treatment Care: Patients may experience mild soreness or redness, which typically resolves quickly. Specific aftercare instructions may be provided.

Shockwave therapy is a safe and effective option for treating a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, offering a non-invasive solution to pain relief and enhanced healing.