Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)


  1. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is used to treat a growing number of tendon, joint and muscle conditions. These include tennis elbow,[1] where results in double blind studies are reported as excellent. Chronic tendinitis of the knee[2] and shoulder rotator cuff pain,[3] achilles tendinitis,[4] hamstring tendinitis,[5] plantar fasciitis are also treated successfully.[6][7]

The above conditions are often difficult to treat using other methods and can become chronic. With ESWT patients report reduced pain and faster healing, without significant adverse side effects. However, the treatment has proven challenging to verify categorically in large controlled studies, in part because the therapist and patient are aware whether or not they are in the treatment cohort or the sham cohort[citation needed].

ESTW is also used to promote bone healing and treat bone necrosis.[8] It is an effective alternative to surgical treatment of non-healing fractures.[9][10]

ESWT is used for wound healing and has shown positive results in short-term and long-term outcomes in diabetic patients suffering from foot ulcers.[11]

Chest pains associated with heart disease, known as angina have been treated successfully with ESWT. Studies have shown that the shockwaves promote the growth of new blood vessels or revascularization.[12]

Since 2010 shockwaves have been used in urology, to treat chronic pelvic pain syndrome[13] and erectile dysfunction. Unlike drugs ESWT is non-invasive, without side effects and promotes long term healing. There are a growing number of double blind sham controlled double blind studies that show success rates of up to 80%.[14]