Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave Therapy-information for patients 

Shockwave therapy is used to treat patients with chronic tendon disorders. It is a non-surgical treatment, and works by delivering impulses of energy, targeted to specific damaged tissues within the abnormal tendon. This increases the blood flow within the affected area, stimulating cell regeneration and healing, and decreasing local factors which can cause pain.

How shockwave therapy works

A probe is pressed on to the affected area and the shockwaves are delivered through the skin (a gel is also applied to the area to promote the process). 

The impulses are delivered through the skin as a shockwave that spreads inside the injured tissue as an aspherical ‘radial' wave. These radial shockwaves initiate an inflammation-like response in the injured tissue that is being treated, and prompts the body to respond naturally by increasing blood circulation, the number of blood vessels and therefore metabolism in the injured tissue.

The shockwaves are felt as pulses which are a little uncomfortable. The practitioner administering your treatment will start with a low level of intensity and increase this to a point where you feel comfortable. The treatment was originally used as a treatment for kidney stones, and has been re-developed for the use in treating tendon conditions.

Conditions recommended for treatment with shockwave therapy:

  • Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs
  • Calcific tendinitis of the shoulder
  • Tennis and golfers elbow
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Trochanteric bursitis (lateral hip pain)
  • Patella Tendinopathy (Jumpers Knee)
  • Medial Tibial Periostitis (shin splints)
  • Some muscle injuries




You should not have shockwave therapy if you:

  • · Are pregnant
  • · Are taking anticoagulants (such as warfarin or rivaroxaban)
  • · Have a blood clotting disorder
  • · Are under the age of 18
  • · Have been diagnosed with bone cancer
  • · Have a cardiac pacemaker or other cardiac device
  • · Have an infection in your foot or a history of tendon or ligament rupture
  • · Have had any steroid injections in the previous 12 weeks

These will be discussed with you by your healthcare professional when the treatment is offered.

What happens during shockwave treatment?

Shock-wave therapy treatments are usually performed weekly. Each treatment session takes about 15 minutes and it is usual to need between 3 and 6 treatment sessions.

Shockwave therapy treatment may also be used alongside other treatments provided by chiropractors and physiotherapists

What can I expect during and after my shockwave treatment?

Many patients experience an improvement in symptoms almost immediately, while others take several weeks to respond. You may experience some pain during the treatment, but you should be able to tolerate this. Following the treatment, you may experience redness, bruising, swelling and numbness to the area. These side effects should resolve within a week, before your next treatment. There is a small risk of tendon rupture or ligament rupture and damage to the soft tissue. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have deemed this procedure to be safe. Every patient will be monitored before and after the treatments to discover how successful the outcome is.


If you have any questions or for further information please call our Braintree Clinic on 01376 349400, Lexden (Colchester) Clinic 01206 577000 or Stansted Clinic 01279 815336