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Shockwave Therapy: Fast-Track Your Recovery Without Surgery

By Maximilian Anthony - Published  6 June 2024

What is Shockwave Therapy ?

Shockwave therapy is a treatment that uses sound waves to help heal injured parts of the body. It doesn't need surgery and doesn't hurt. It's like giving your body a gentle nudge to help it heal itself.

It started in the early 1980s to break up kidney stones and has been used for a long time to help heal muscles and bones.


This therapy helps by increasing blood flow, reducing swelling, and making tissue repair faster.


There are two main types of shockwave therapy:


  1. Focused Shockwave Therapy: This type reaches deeper into the body and is more accurate.

  2. Radial Shockwave Therapy: This type covers a bigger area but doesn't go as deep.

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What Injuries Can Shockwave Therapy Help With?

Shockwave therapy can help with many types of pain and injuries. Here are some common ones:

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Knee arthritis

  • Shoulder Pain

  • Hamstring injuries

  • Achilles tendinitis

  • Tennis elbow

  • Golfer's elbow

  • Shin splints

  • Frozen shoulder

  • Jumper's knee

  • Hip bursitis

  • Calcific tendinopathy

  • Bone fracture not healing

  • Hip bone death

  • Patellar Tendinopathy

  • Achilles Tendinopathy

  • Gluteal Tendinopathy

  • Shoulder Tendinopathy

  • Hamstring Tendinopathies

Also heals general conditions like Heel Pain, Elbow Pain, Ankle Pain, Thigh Pain and tendon pain in arms and legs.
This treatment helps your body heal faster and reduces pain, making it great for sports injuries and other repetitive movement problems.

How effective is shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy (ESWT) is a highly effective, non-invasive treatment, especially beneficial for chronic musculoskeletal conditions. It works by targeting injured tissues with calibrated shockwaves, which help in several ways. It Delivers strong shockwaves, causing microtrauma and cavitation bubbles which Improves blood flow and activates cells for tissue repair.

Pain Relief


Many patients experience a significant decrease in pain—about 70-80%—after just a few treatments. Effective for specific ailments like plantar fasciitis and tennis elbow, as confirmed by studies in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Inflammation Reduction


The therapy also reduces inflammation by lowering inflammatory cytokines by 30% and decreasing the number of inflammatory cells within joints by 25%. This helps alleviate pain and stiffness, enhancing patient comfort.%.


Improved Blood Flow


Shockwave therapy promotes the growth of new blood vessels by 45%, enhancing blood circulation to the affected areas and speeding up the healing process. This improvement in blood flow is crucial for effective treatment outcomes.


Cellular Repair and Tissue Regeneration


On a cellular level, shockwave therapy fosters tissue repair and growth. It increases levels of essential growth factors like eNOS and VEGF by up to 40%, boosts collagen production by 50% for repairing connective tissues, and accelerates cell growth rates by 35%, facilitating rapid recovery and regeneration of damaged tissues.

Shockwave Therapy Benefits

Shockwave therapy provides a revolutionary, cost-effective solution that rapidly alleviates pain, enhances mobility, and accelerates tissue healing—improving your overall quality of life without the need for invasive procedures or medications.

  • Activates stem cell healing: Kickstarts natural repair processes.

  • Pain relief: Reduces discomfort quickly.

  • Better movement: Improves ease of mobility.

  • Quick results: Noticeable improvements soon after starting treatment.

  • Long-lasting effects: Benefits extend far beyond initial treatment.

  • Extended benefits: Continues to provide relief and healing.

  • Increases blood circulation: Enhances flow in soft tissues.

  • Fast and effective: Rapid results that are scientifically validated.

  • No medication needed: Avoids pharmaceuticals.

  • Non-invasive: No surgery, no incisions.

  • Safe: Proven and secure method for various conditions.

Are there any side effects or complications?

Shockwave therapy (ESWT) is very safe and non-invasive, especially compared to surgery or long-term medication. Here’s what you need to know:
General Safety of ESWT

  • ESWT is safe with minimal risks.

  • Fewer complications and faster recovery than surgery.

  • No long-term medication side effects like stomach issues.

How Expensive is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy can cost between $250 to $450 per session. The exact price varies based on the type of treatment, location, and the healthcare provider. Most patients need multiple sessions for the best results, which can increase the total cost. There are several Factors Influencing the Price of Shockwave Therapy for example:
Type of Treatment
Different types of shockwave therapy, like extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) for musculoskeletal conditions and radial shockwave therapy for conditions like erectile dysfunction, have different costs.
Location of the Healthcare Provider
Costs can vary by city and country due to local pricing standards, cost of living, and competition among healthcare providers.
Number of Sessions
The total cost depends on how many sessions are needed. More severe conditions or slower responses to therapy may require more sessions.
Insurance Coverage
Currently, no insurance plans cover shockwave therapy, so patients must pay out-of-pocket.

Saving on Shockwave Therapy Costs

  • Package Deals: Some providers offer discounts for multiple sessions purchased together.

  • Financing Options: Clinics may provide payment plans to make the treatment more affordable.

  • Cost Comparison: Compared to surgery or the long-term use of pain medication, shockwave therapy can save money. Surgery often costs much more and has longer recovery times, while long-term medication can be expensive and have side effects.

Shockwave Therapy Compared to other therapies

Shockwave therapy (ESWT) is often compared to other treatment options for musculoskeletal conditions. Here’s how it stacks up against some common alternatives:

Shockwave Therapy vs. Surgery

Shockwave therapy is safer than surgery.

Surgery can bring risks like infections and anesthesia problems. Shockwave therapy is non-invasive, meaning no cuts, no scars, and fewer risks.


It's also cheaper.


A full shockwave treatment costs between $600 and $2500. Surgery can cost a lot more

from $20,000 to $50,000.


You recover faster with shockwave therapy.

You can get back to normal life almost right away. Surgery can take weeks or months to recover from.


Both can really help but shockwave therapy is less trouble.


It treats muscle pain and tendinitis well without needing to cut you open. Surgery might be needed for very bad damage but shockwave therapy is great for many problems.


Zero Side Effects


Typically, there are no side effects. Some may feel slight discomfort during treatment, but it's generally well-tolerated.


Shockwave Therapy vs. Long-Term Pain Medication

Targets the Root Cause

Shockwave therapy addresses the underlying issue causing pain. Unlike pain medications, which only mask the pain temporarily, shockwave therapy works to heal your body.

It's safer too.


Long-term use of pain medications can lead to stomach issues, dependency, and other health problems. Shockwave therapy is known for having minimal side effects, making it a safer choice for many.

Over time, it can be cheaper.

Pain medications can become a recurring expense, adding up over time. Shockwave therapy typically involves a one-time payment ranging from $600 to $2500, potentially saving you money.

For example, if pain medication costs $50 per month, that adds up to $600 per year. Over five years, this totals $3000, which is more than the cost of most shockwave therapy treatments. And you would still not have overcome the root cause of the problem.


Shockwave Therapy vs. Physical Therapy

Shockwave therapy works faster.


Physical therapy takes time to show improvement. Shockwave therapy gives quick pain relief and fixes tissues faster.

It might cost less in the long run.


Physical therapy sessions might seem cheaper at first, but you usually need many sessions, which adds up. On average, a single physical therapy session can cost between $50 and $150. If you need 20 sessions, this can total between $1000 and $3000.


In contrast, shockwave therapy typically involves a one-time cost ranging from $600 to $2500. Over time, this can be less expensive than multiple physical therapy sessions.


Both are effective.


Physical therapy is good for long-term rehab. Shockwave therapy is also very effective, especially for faster recovery.

Shockwave Therapy vs. Corticosteroid Injections

Shockwave therapy heals the root cause.

Corticosteroid injections only give temporary relief by reducing inflammation. Shockwave therapy promotes long-term healing by healing the root cause.

It’s safer.

Repeated injections can weaken tendons and have other side effects like joint infection, nerve damage, weakening of tendons, thinning of bones (osteoporosis), and increased blood sugar levels. Shockwave therapy is super safe and doesn’t weaken tendons or cause these issues.

Overall cost can be lower.

Corticosteroid injections typically cost between $100 and $300 per shot. Because they often require multiple treatments, costs can add up quickly. Shockwave therapy involves a one-time cost ranging from $600 to $2500, potentially saving you money over the long term.

Benefits of Shockwave Therapy vs other treatments

  1. Non-Invasive: Unlike surgery, ESWT does not involve incisions or anesthesia, reducing the risk of complications.

  2. Minimal Side Effects: Compared to long-term medication use, ESWT has fewer and less severe side effects.

  3. Promotes Healing: ESWT stimulates tissue repair and regeneration, offering more than just symptom relief.

  4. Cost-Effective: When considering the long-term costs of surgery, medication, and physical therapy, ESWT can be more economical.

Who Should Not Undergo Shockwave Therapy?

Avoid Shockwave Therapy is you:

  • Have circulation or nerve disorders

  • Show signs of infection

  • Have bone conditions in affected areas

  • Have open wounds

  • Are pregnant

  • Use blood-thinning medication

  • Have severe circulatory disorders

  • Are a child

  • Have a cardiac pacemaker

  • Received a corticosteroid injection within the last 3 months

  • Are currently receiving cancer treatment

  • Have a blood clotting disorder


Shockwave therapy offers a non-invasive, effective solution for a range of musculoskeletal issues without the need for surgery or long-term medication. By using sound waves to promote healing at the cellular level, this treatment can significantly reduce pain and improve functionality. It is particularly beneficial for conditions like plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, and Achilles tendinopathy.


Patients benefit from minimal downtime and side effects, making it a convenient option for those with active lifestyles. Although the cost per session can vary, the overall expense is often lower compared to surgery or prolonged medication use. With its ability to stimulate tissue repair and enhance blood flow, shockwave therapy stands out as a cost-effective and safe alternative to traditional treatments.

FAQ about Shockwave Therapy

What is shockwave therapy?
Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses sound waves to promote healing in injured tissues. It helps increase blood flow, reduce swelling, and speed up tissue repair.
Are the differences in shockwave therapy?

There are two main types of shockwave therapy: Focused Shockwave Therapy, which reaches deeper and is more precise, and Radial Shockwave Therapy, which covers a larger area but does not penetrate as deeply.
How long does shockwave therapy take?

Each session of shockwave therapy typically lasts about 5 to 10 minutes.
How often should you do Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy is usually done once a week for a total of 3 to 6 sessions, depending on the condition being treated.
How long is the recovery period from shockwave therapy?

There is minimal recovery time needed. Patients can typically resume normal activities immediately after the session but should avoid heavy activities for 48 hours.
How effective is shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction (ED)?
Shockwave therapy can be effective for treating erectile dysfunction (ED) by improving blood flow to the penile tissues. However, results can vary, and it's best to consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice.
Can shockwave therapy treat plantar fasciitis?
Yes, shockwave therapy is effective for treating plantar fasciitis, often reducing pain and improving functionality.
What are the side effects of shockwave therapy?
Side effects are minimal and may include temporary soreness or mild discomfort in the treated area.
How much does shockwave therapy cost?

Shockwave therapy typically costs between $250 to $450 per session.
Is shockwave therapy covered by insurance?

Currently, most insurance plans do not cover shockwave therapy, so patients usually pay out-of-pocket.
How many sessions of shockwave therapy are typically needed for treating kidney stones?
Treating kidney stones with shockwave therapy, also known as lithotripsy, usually requires only one session.
What should I expect during a shockwave therapy session?
During a session, you'll lie down, and a gel will be applied to the treatment area. The therapy lasts about 5 to 10 minutes. Settings can be adjusted for comfort. After the session, you can walk immediately and manage any soreness with paracetamol, avoiding anti-inflammatory drugs and ice.
Who should not undergo shockwave therapy?
Individuals with circulation or nerve disorders, infections, bone conditions in the affected area, open wounds, pregnancy, blood clotting disorders, severe circulatory disorders, or those who have received a corticosteroid injection within the last 3 months should avoid shockwave therapy.
Where can I find a certified shockwave therapist near me?
You can find a certified shockwave therapist by consulting local medical directories, asking your healthcare provider for recommendations, or searching online for clinics specializing in shockwave therapy.
How long after shockwave therapy can I take ibuprofen?
It's advised to avoid anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen for at least 48 hours after shockwave therapy to allow the body’s natural healing processes to work effectively.
What does shockwave therapy feel like?
Shockwave therapy can feel like a series of pulses against the skin. Some patients may experience mild discomfort, but the intensity can be adjusted for comfort.
The history of Shockwave Therapy?
Shockwave therapy began in the early 1980s for breaking up kidney stones (lithotripsy) and has since evolved to treat various musculoskeletal conditions by promoting tissue repair and pain relief.
What does shockwave therapy do?
Shockwave therapy stimulates tissue repair, enhances blood flow, reduces inflammation, and accelerates healing processes in injured tissues.
Who does shockwave therapy near me?
To find a provider, consult local medical directories, seek recommendations from healthcare professionals, or search online for clinics offering shockwave therapy in your area.

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