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Real Shockwave Therapy 
Information for Doctors

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Shockwave Therapy - Successful treatment options 

Pain Management & Mobility Restoration


The original application of focused shockwaves with extremely short duration and very high peak pressures - use of the first lithotriptor for shattering kidney stones (focused shockwave), that can reach and destroy the solid bodies inside the human body without damaging overlying tissue (1980) - has now developed into an alternative, a safe method of treatment for superficial medical problems with virtually identical efficiency.

Focused shock wave therapy produces powerful acoustic shockwaves that are transmitted into the problem area and has been found to be a safe, effective and useful tool for management of hard to treat or complex conditions. 

Focused Shock Wave Therapy (fSWT), the ‘gold standard’ in Shockwave Therapy, has the ability to focus on a structure and transmit the waves right to the target. This means that the focused machine is being found to have great effects, as backed up by research (read below).

One of the benefits of focused shockwave is that it effectively penetrates tissue up to 12.5cm deep. This depth covers all tissues, including, tendons, ligaments, muscles and bones. The ability to reach deeper means a focused SW machine is better for insertional tendinopathy (i.e. where the tendon attaches to the bone), bone healing stimulation, as well as in larger individuals; to get right to the source of your pain and tissue injury.

A great deal of experience and a large number of study over the past 20 years as well as reports by practitioners have now confirmed its efficacy. 

Radial vs Focused Shockwave in Orthopaedics - What is the Difference?


Focus Shockwave is the REAL Shockwave Therapy which is used successfully for a wide variety of pathologies. Radial Shockwave Therapy, found in most clinics offering Shockwave, is simply radial pressure wave. 

One of the main differences is that Focused Shockwave can reach a more targeted area and go deeper into the tissue, whilst pressure waves (Radial SWT) reaches a depth up to 5cm and might be beneficial only for superficial zones.

Focus Shockwaves are ideal for treating insertional tendinopathies or areas near the bone as it produces fewer vibrations than Radial Shockwave, also being more precise.


Focused Shockwave:

  • Can reach depths up to 12.5cm

  • Effective for more precise treatments and conditions, as the energy will be applied straight on the desired area.

  • Beneficial for: Deeper Tendinopathies, Deep trigger points, Pseudoarthrosis (bone healing) 

  • Achilles and Patellar Tendinopathy, supraspinatus tendinopathy/calcifications, deep lying trigger points, Pseudoarthrosis, Erectile Dysfunction


Radial Pressure Waves:

  • Deliver their maximum intensity to a ‘superficial’ area i.e low depth. This depth is usually around 3 - 4cm.

  • Effective for more extensive therapy of the surface

  • Have lower maximum intensity,

  • Have a divergent wave

The Proof is in the Science


Clinically Relevant Effectiveness of Focused Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy in the Treatment of Chronic Plantar Fasciitis.

A Randomized, Controlled Multicenter Study

By: Hans Gollwitzer, MD, Amol Saxena, DPM, Lawrence A. DiDomenico, DPM, Louis Galli, DPM, Richard T. Bouche, DPM, David S. Caminear, DPM, Brian Fullem, DPM, Johannes C. Vester, ́Carsten Horn, MD, Ingo J. Banke, MD, Rainer Burgkart, MD, and Ludger Gerdesmeyer, MD



Abstract-Heel Pain Treatment Results using Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Therapy (EPAT) vs. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT).

By: Angela Drury-Schimberg, D.P.M., F.A.C., F.A.S



The American Journal of Sports Medicine - Eccentric Loading, Shock-Wave Treatment, or a Wait-and-See Policy for Tendinophathy of the Main Body of Tendo Achillis

By: Jan D. Rompe, M.D., Bernhard Nafe, M.D., John P. Furia, M.D. Ph.D., and Nicola Maffulli, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.S.(Orth)



The American Journal of Sports Medicine - High-Energy Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy as a Treatment for Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy

By: John Patrick Furia, M.D



The American Journal of Sports Medicine - Extracorporeal Shockwave for Chronic Patellar Tendinopathy

By: Ching-Jen Wang M.D., Jih-Yang Ko M.D., Yi-Sheng Chan M.D., Lin-Hsiu Weng M.D. and Shan-Lin Hsu M.D.



Low-Energy Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy as a Treatment for Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome

By: Jan D. Rompe, Angelo Cacchio, John P. Furia and Nicola Maffulli



Physical Therapy - Effectiveness of Radial Shock-Wave Therapy for Calcific Tendinitis of the Shoulder: Single-Blind, Randomized Clinical Study

By: Angelo Cacchio, Marco Paoloni, Antonio Barile, Romildo Don, Fosco de Paulis, Vittorio Calvisi, Alberto Ranavolo, Massimo Frascarelli, Valter Santilli, Giorgio Spacca


Radial Shockwave Therapy in Calcific Tendinitis of the Rotator Cuff

By: Dr. P. Magosch, ATOS Clinic Heidelberg (Germany)



The American Journal of Sports Medicine - Shock Wave Therapy for Patients with Lateral Epiconylitis of the Elbow

By: Ching-Jen Wang, M.S. & Han-Shiang Chen, M.D.



Radial Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (rESWT) in Chronic Plantar Heel Pain - a RCT

By: L. Gerdesmeyer, L. Weil, B. Scrurran, J. Stienstra, C. Frey, K. Fedder, M. Maier, M. Henne, M. Russlies, H. Lohrer, J. Vester


Repetitive low-energy shock wave application without local anesthesia is more efficient than repetitive low-energy shock wave application with local anesthesia in the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis

By: Rompe JD, Meurer A, Nafe B, Hofmann A, Gerdesmeyer L.

Effectiveness of Shockwave Therapy

Improvement for Calcific Tendinitis 91%

Improvement for Plantar Fasciitis 90%

Improvement for Patella Tendinitis/Achillodynia 88%

Improvement for Calcific Tendinitis of the Shoulder 83%

Improvement for Tennis Elbow 77%

Improvement for Achilles Tendinopathy 76%

Improvement for Myofascial Trigger Points 80%



Benefits of Shockwave Therapy

  • Patients can be treated on both sides at the same time, if the condition requires.

  • Non invasive

  • Non addictive

  • Accelerates healing

  • Fast, safe and effective

  • Decreased pain and increased function

  • No incision; no risk for infection at the treatment site, no scarring

  • Future treatment options are not limited


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