What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)?

October 9, 2017

Physiotherapy Matters are now offering a fast and effective pain relief with Shockwave Therapy to help you get back to your daily activities, sport or favourite hobbies in no time.

What is ESWT?

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is a non-invasive treatment that assists with the body’s natural healing process. It involves sending shockwaves through your skin towards the painful/affected /damaged tissue.

How does it work?

The treatment produces an anti-inflammatory response which increases metabolic and circulatory activity. This stimulates your bodies healing process thereby promoting recovery and remodelling of damaged/dysfunctional tissues.

ESWT aids in the breakdown of scar tissue and calcification and can also stimulate pain relief through neural mechanisms (reduction of nerve signals to the brain.)

What conditions can ESWT treat?

Shockwave therapy can be used to treat chronic tendon inflammation in the hip, knee, shoulder, elbow, Achilles and sole of the foot. It is recommended for conditions such as heel pain (plantar fasciitis), tennis or golfers elbow, tendinitis of the shoulder, tendinopathies of the Achilles tendon, hamstring and patella, as well as other painful conditions such as trochanteric bursitis and shin splints.

What are the Benefits?

  • Stimulates the body’s natural self-healing process
  • Non-Invasive
  • Immediate reduction in pain
  • Increased Range of movement
  • May eliminate need for surgery

Success Rate?

ESWT is a highly effective treatment for chronic tendon disorders and is widely used in practise.  Research demonstrates a 70-80% success rate across a vast range of conditions. It may not work for everyone, but it helps most people when other conservative treatments have failed. It has helped many people to undergo invasive or surgical treatments


Treatments should last no longer than 10 minutes’ dependent on pain severity and history of the condition. You should expect to attend 3-4 treatment sessions, once weekly apart for the best results.


How to prepare for treatment?

  • No pain relief prior to treatment sessions
  • Stop use of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (for example ibuprofen, aspirin) 14 days prior to first treatment, throughout treatment and 6 weeks after final treatment session
  • Continue with stretching and eccentric loading programme
  • Adequate rest (Avoid continuous overloading of pain site)
  • No strenuous, pain provoking or high impact activity for 48 hours post treatment


What to expect during after treatment?

Some soreness and pain may occur as ESWT initiates an inflammatory reaction in the tissues. You may experience some side effects after treatment including skin redness, bruising, haematoma, localised red spots and numbness. All of these should resolve in a few days prior to you next treatment. There is a small risk of tendon/ligament rupture and soft tissue damage. You may experience pain during and temporarily after treatment


ESWT should not be completed if you:

  • Are Pregnant
  • Are taking Anti-platelets/anticoagulants
  • Have a blood clotting disorder
  • Have been diagnosed with bone cancer
  • Have a cardiac pacemaker
  • Have had a steroid injection in the last 12 weeks/previous tendon rupture

At Physiotherapy Matters we offer a free triage telephone service, if you have a queries about your condition and how shockwave therapy can help you please call us on 0191 2858701

No matter whether your condition was caused by a sport, work accident or otherwise, we welcome the chance to serve you.

Book an Appointment