What is Acoustic Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy (also called Pressure Wave, Pulse Wave, or Acoustic Wave, Swiss Wave) is a non-invasive treatment that involves creating a series of low energy acoustic wave pulsations that are expertly applied to the treatment area through a person’s skin via a gel medium.

Does Acoustic Shockwave Work?

Shockwave therapy is an advanced regenerative and rehabilitation method used by skilled practitioners for indications such as shoulder injuries, chronic Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, elbow tendinopathies and myofascial syndrome. With over 50 internationally recognized applications, shockwave therapy may be found in such specialties as Urology (erectile dysfunction), orthopedics, sports medicine, and pain management.  Emerging research has demonstrated some value in the cardiovascular and neurology fields.

Two Mayo sports medicine departments currently offer ESWt for the following areas of tendinopathy:

  • Rotator cuff
  • Lateral epicondyle
  • Medial epicondyle
  • Greater trochanter (gluteus medius and minimus)
  • Proximal hamstring origin
  • Rectus femoris
  • Distal quadricep
  • Patellar tendon
  • Posterior tibial
  • Peroneal
  • Achilles
  • Plantar fascia 

Is It Safe?

For your safety and as a standard of care, ESWT should only be provided following clinical examination of the pathophysiology, radiographic imaging and some additional diagnostic testing may be necessary to corroborate the patient’s care plan. Only a qualified providers (certified by National or International Societies) may use focused shockwave therapy to treat pathologies, which have been determined by diagnostic testing.  For the treatment on bones, a high-energy, focused shockwave with positioning technology has to be used. Close attention must be paid to the depth of penetration of the shockwave source when treating deep tissue structures.

Radial & Focused shockwave should not be administered to patients with Malignant tumor in the treatment area or when a fetus is in the treatment area.

Additionally, Focused shockwave shouldn’t be administered over the lungs, local to an Epiphyseal plate, directly to Brain or vertebra or in cases of known or suspected severe coagulopathy.

Only those with licenses to practice medicine perform shockwave treatments at Acoustic Wave Utah.

I Recently Had Surgery -Should I wait?

The short answer is no- you can use ESWT immediately following may surgeries.  Yet because of the different types of surgeries and patient cases the ultimate discretion is between your doctor and you.

Are All Providers The Same?

Many protocols & demonstrations are publicly available world-wide.  Few studies demonstrate any reproducible superiority in cross-comparison when only one type of wave machine is used, however; when employing multiple modalities, results increase dramatically. 

What Technique Do You Use?

The application of ESWT for musculoskeletal disorders has been around for over  ten years and is primarily used in the treatment of sports related over-use tendinopathies such as proximal plantar fasciitis of the heel, lateral epicondylitis of the elbow, calcific or non-calcific tendonitis of the shoulder and patellar tendinopathy etc. The success rate ranges from 65% to 91%, and the complications were low and negligible. We have some of the highest success rates in the Nation.

There are varied technologies and techniques utilized globally- yet the clinical outcomes are similar.