Shockwave Therapy

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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?

All evidence listed for our EMS Swiss Dolorclast Shockwave therapy are taken from the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), the gold standard database for randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines in physical therapy. PEDro is overseen by the Centre for Evidence-Based Physiotherapy at the George Institute for Global Health and affiliated with the University of Sydney, Australia.

Plantar Fasciitis
The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2008;36(11):2100-2109.
Radial Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is Safe and Effective in the Treatment of Chronic Recalcitrant Plantar Fasciitis. Gerdesmeyer L, Frey C, Vester J, Maier M, Lowell W, Weil L et al.
Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine. 2012;36(5):681.
Effectiveness of Initial Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy on the Newly Diagnosed Lateral or Medial Epicondylitis. Lee S, Kang S, Park N, Lee C, Song H, Sohn M et al.
Patella Tendinopathy
The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2007;35(6):972-978.
Extracorporeal Shockwave for Chronic Patellar Tendinopathy. Wang C, Ko J, Chan Y, Weng L, Hsu S.
Hamstring Tendinopathy
Cacchio A, Rompe J, Furia J, Susi P, Santilli V, De Paulis F. Shockwave Therapy for the Treatment of Chronic Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy in Professional Athletes. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2010;39(1):146-153.
Achilles Tendinoapthy
The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery-American Volume. 2008;90(1):52-61.
Eccentric Loading Compared with Shock Wave Treatment for Chronic Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy. Rompe J, Furia J, Maffulli N.
Calcific Tendinitis of the Shoulder
Physical Therapy. 2006;5(86):672-682.
Effectiveness of Radial Shockwave Therapy for Calcific Tendinitis of the Shoulder: Single-Blind, Randomized Clinical Study. Cacchio A, Paoloni M, Barile A, Don R, de Paulis F, Calvisi V et al.
Rotator Cuff Tears
The Bone & Joint Journal. 2013;95-B(11):1521-1526.
Radial Extracorporeal Shock-wave Therapy in Patients with Chronic Rotator Cuff Tendinitis: A Prospective Randomised Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Multicentre Trial. Kolk A, Auw Yang K, Tamminga R, van der Hoeven H.
Osteoitis Pubis
Knee Surgery Sports Traumatololy Arthroscopy. 2017 25(6):1958-1966.
Non-Surgical Treatment of Pubic Overload and Groin Pain in Amateur Football Players: A Prospective Double-Blinded Randomised Controlled Study. Schoerl M, Prantl L, Loose O, Zellner J, Angele P, Zeman F et al.
Trochanteric Bursitis and Gluteal Tendinopathy
The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2009;37(10):1981-1990.
Home Training, Local Corticosteroid Injection, or Radial Shock Wave Therapy for Greater Trochanter Pain Syndrome. Rompe J, Segal N, Cacchio A, Furia J, Morral A, Maffulli N.

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.