Shockwave Therapy treatment: what is it?

Shockwave therapy has gained recognition as an innovative and effective treatment for various musculoskeletal conditions. In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating world of shockwave therapy and explore how it works. By understanding how the treatment works, we can better appreciate its benefits and potential applications in physiotherapy.

The Basics of Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), uses high-energy sound waves to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. These sound waves are generated by a specialized device and transmitted to the affected area through the skin.

How does it work?

When shockwaves are applied to the body, they promote a cascade of biological responses. The primary mechanism of action includes:

  1. Neovascularization: Shockwaves promote the formation of new blood vessels (neovascularization) in the affected area, improving blood supply and oxygenation. This helps enhance the healing process and tissue regeneration.
  2. Disruption of calcifications: In cases where calcium deposits or calcifications have formed within the tissue, shockwaves can break them down, facilitating their resorption or removal.
  3. Stimulation of tissue repair: Shockwaves trigger the activation of stem cells and fibroblasts, promoting collagen production and leading to tissue repair and regeneration.

Treatment Process

During a shockwave therapy session, a physiotherapist or medical professional applies the device directly to the skin above the targeted area. The intensity and frequency of the shockwaves are adjusted based on the specific condition being treated and the individual’s tolerance. Treatment sessions typically last around 10-15 minutes, and multiple sessions may be required to achieve optimal results.

Conditions Treated with Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy has demonstrated efficacy in treating a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, including:

Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of shockwave therapy for tendinopathy, including tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis). For instance, a randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that shockwave therapy significantly improved pain and function in patients with chronic tennis elbow compared to a placebo group (Buchbinder et al., 2018). The study concluded that shockwave therapy can be a beneficial treatment option for individuals struggling with tennis elbow.

At UniquePhysio, we provide comprehensive that can include shockwave therapy at no extra cost if it is deemed appropriate by the physiotherapist. If you’re experiencing any of the mentioned conditions or seeking effective non-invasive treatment, consult with a qualified physiotherapist or healthcare professional to determine if shockwave therapy is suitable for you.


Buchbinder, R., Green, S., Bell, S., Brooks, P., & Schoelles, K. (2018). Shock wave therapy for lateral elbow pain. JAMA, 320(8), 820-830. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.11662

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