What is Shockwave and Why Might It Be Useful for You?
February 13, 2021 | Cara Boyd

Written by: Kristy Blair BSc, CAT (C) @theendurancechiro

Do you have pain with your first couple of steps out of bed in the morning? Do you have an old rotator cuff tear? If you have been treated by a chiropractor, physiotherapist, or Athletic Therapist chances are that you have been offered shockwave as an adjunct to your therapy. So why is this tool so popular and what is it actually used for?

Shockwave is a non-invasive vibration therapy solution that can quickly help your recovery from a soft tissue injury.


Not only for tendon injuries…treatment can be used for tendinopathies, trigger point therapy, activation and decreased tension in muscles



Conditions that can be treated by shockwave therapy

• Plantar fasciitis

• Achilles tendinopathy

• Myofascial trigger points

• Jumper’s knee

• Stress fractures

• Bursitis

• Hallux rigidus

• Shin splints

• Tennis elbow

• Non-healing ulcers

• Calcific rotator cuff tendonitis

• Scar tissue treatment

• Hamstring tendinopathy

• Osgood Schlatter

• Shoulder pain

• Shin splints

• Stress fractures

• Enhancement of bone healing

• Hallus rigidus

• Non-healing ulcers

• Scar tissue

• Stress fractures


91% success rate for calcific rotator cuff tendonitis



• Non-surgical treatment

• No side effects

• Accelerates healing

• Coverage available from most insurance companies

• Rapid mobility and strength gains in treated areas


The foot & ankle international, in 2012 found 90% success rate for plantar fasciitis


An ultrasound can be an objective measure to diagnose plantar fasciitis. A symptomatic plantar fascia is found to be thicker. With treatment of shockwave, the pain dramatically decreased and concurrently so did the plantar fascia thickness. If you experience pain with the first few steps out of bed, of have pain after prolonged walking, then you could benefit from this treatment.

A study by Gerdesmeyer et al., from the American Journal of Sports Medicine found through randomized control trial that shockwave therapy is a safe and effective treatment to significantly reduce pain, increased function and quality of life in people suffering from chronic plantar fasciitis. With only 3 treatments of shockwave, compared to placebo.

With little side effects, this might be a treatment option for you. Ask your health care provider if you think this would be a good fit for you.


Shockwave is safe and effective treatment for chronic hamstring tendinopathy with 80% success rates



Overuse injuries like chronic hamstring tendinopathies are typically managed by conservative care. That means chiropractic, athletic therapy of physiotherapy care. According to Cacchio and colleagues from the Journal of Sports Medicine found that, shockwave therapy is a useful tool for hamstring tendinopathies in professional athletes. After 3 months of care, the group that underwent shockwave therapy had a reduction in 50% of pain. The control group which underwent non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy and an exercise program for hamstring specific exercises found a 10% reduction in pain at 3 months.


If the above reasons resonate with you, or you have any further questions on shockwave or any other modalities, feel free to reach out to me. I would be happy to help.