Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave Therapy

Doctors of Osteopathy Victoria is proud to be one of the few clinics in Melbourne to offer our patients access to the new Extracorporeal Radial Shockwave Therapy machine to help immediately treat and improve the symptoms of musculoskeletal and joint disorders.

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive (non-surgical) therapeutic use of high intensity ultrasound waves. It is a highly unique type of treatment as shockwave therapy tends to work best with chronic conditions such as heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis,  tennis and golfers elbow, rotator cuff tears and patella pain. Evidence supporting this includes the most noted CJ Wang in the 2012 Journal of Orthopedic Surgery and Research noted success rates of up to 88% in treating Plantar Fasciitis including chronic symptoms.  Further independent reputable research papers can be found below to support shockwave therapy.


Shockwave therapy can be used to help treat:

  1. Plantar Fasciitis
  2. Tennis / Golfers elbow (Lateral/ Medial Epicondylitis)
  3. Patella Tendinopathy/ Osgood Schlatter Disease
  4. Hamstring Tendinopathy and Tears
  5. Achilles Tendinopathy
  6. Calcific Tendinitis of the Shoulder
  7. Rotator Cuff Tears
  8. Osteitis Pubis
  9. Trochanteric Bursitis and Gluteal Tendinopathy

How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?

Shockwave therapy produces a measured high amplitude wave frequency that results in a resonance effect generated by kinetic energy from the shockwave handpiece. The resonance (or shockwave) penetrates deep into the injured area causing microscopic interstitial and extracellular effects which help stimulate tissue regeneration and a healing response by the body.

What are the benefits of Shockwave Therapy?

Neurovascularisation Ingrowth
Increasing dilation of blood vessels to increase blood flow which facilitates healing of the tissue by promoting fibroblasts, collagen organisation and help with the removal of inflammation.
Stimulation of Collagen and Tissue Regeneration
The mechanical stress of shockwaves help stimulate pro-collagen synthesis to increase tendon regeneration and repair.
Reducing Pain
Resonance created by the shockwaves help with dispersion of substance P and histamines from the nerves which causes a direct reduction of nerve irritation, which can lead to an immediate decrease in pain.
Dissolution of Calcium Build Up
The acoustic waves generated by the shockwave handpiece helps break up existing calcifications due to calcium build up as a result of micro-tears or trauma to a tendon.

What does shockwave treatment feel like?

Our osteopaths will pass the shockwave applicator head over the injured area, which may cause some mild discomfort during treatment. Shockwave therapy only takes up 10-15 minutes of treatment time depending on the area and severity of the injury. The patient will be able to continue with their daily activities straight after the treatment with very little down time.

How many treatments will I need?

Usually patients require only 3-5 treatments and show an immediate improvement from their first shockwave therapy session. With the second treatment, the pain should further reduce and by the third treatment there should be a significant decrease in pain, which is long lasting. We also help provide our patients with specific strengthening and stretching exercises along with shockwave treatment for excellent long term results.

Are there potential complications with shockwave therapy?

The potential side effects of Shockwave Therapy are minimal. However, some people may get localized bruising or feel discomfort for a period of time with post-treatment soreness. However, before choosing to undertake shockwave therapy, it is best to speak with your Osteopath or GP to decide whether it is a suitable treatment option for you as there are some contraindications such as pregnancy, prostheses and implants, diabetes, tumor and skin wounds.

Are there any quality evidence and research articles for shockwave?

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2013 Jun 28.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy Is Effective In Treating Chronic Plantar Fasciitis: A Meta-analysis of RCTs. Aqil A, Siddiqui MR, et al

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Mar 13.
Clinical Improvement and Resorption of Calcifications in Calcific Tendinitis of the Shoulder After Shock Wave Therapy at 6 Months’ Follow-Up: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Ioppolo F, Tattoli M, et al

Foot Ankle Int. 2013 Jan;34(1):33-41.
The effectiveness of extracorporeal shock wave therapy on chronic achilles tendinopathy: a systematic review. Al-Abbad H, Simon JV.

Appointments and Costs

Currently all our osteopaths have done additional training in shockwave therapy and are fully qualified to administer shockwave treatment if they find that it is suitable for your condition and injury.

There is NO additional fee for Shockwave Therapy at Doctors of Osteopathy Victoria and IS included as part of the treatment plan. To see if Shockwave Therapy can help you with your injuries,  book an appointment with us online.