Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave Therapy (SWT) or Radial Shockwave Therapy (rSWT) can be used to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions, in particular, those involving areas where major connective tissue attaches to bone.

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Who can benefit from Shockwave Therapy?

Research is accumulating in the use of SWT & rSWT. Evidence supporting its use has been published in high quality medical journals. The strongest evidence is for shoulder calcific tendinitis and plantar fasciitis, but satisfactory results have been published for other common musculotendinous problems that have “failed to respond”  to other conservative treatment. SWT is a non-surgical option with results that match surgical outcomes, and should be considered when other treatment options have failed.

  • Plantar Fasciitis, heel spurs & Achilles tendonitis
  • Patellar tendonitis, jumper’s knee & shin pain
  • Tennis or golfer’s elbow
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis & calcification (Shoulder)
  • Trochanteric bursitis (Hip)
  • Trigger points in muscles
  • Stress fractures/Shin Splints, non union’s (delayed bone healing)
  • Morton’s Neuroma (Nerve)

Frequently Asked Questions

Is SWT appropriate for me?

  • An initial assessment must be done and if your condition is appropriate you will be treated with SWT.
  • Shockwave Therapy (SWT) is used when all other treatments have been exhausted.
  • It is for a Chronic injury that has persisted more than 3 months.
  • It is most effective for conditions resulting from connective tissue attachments to bone. See the list above.
  • It is usually booked as 3 – 5 treatments 1X/ week for 3 – 5 weeks. Then we wait an additional 3 weeks without treatment to allow for healing to take place.
  • SWT is not a “stand alone” treatment. Other treatment will also be done during your treatment time.

What are the advantages?

Shockwave therapy is a recent development that is used successfully by healthcare providers that specialize in musculoskeletal disorders. As compared to other treatment methods, the advantages are:

  • Quickly reduces pain
  • No medication is needed
  • Avoids surgery and anaesthesia
  • No side effects
  • No risk of allergies
  • Accelerates healing
  • Effective for chronic conditions

What is the success rate?

After only 2-3 sessions, over 80% of patients report a significant reduction in pain.

  • 90% improvement for plantar fasciitis (Journal of Orthopedic Research, 2005)
  • 91% improvement for calcific tendonitis (Journal of American Medical Association, 2003)
  • 77% improvement for tennis elbow (Journal of Orthopedics, 2005)

How long does the treatment last?

Treatment sessions are short (10-30 minutes depending on the disorder that is treated) and mildly uncomfortable. In general, 3-5 sessions are necessary at weekly intervals. Ask your therapist if your condition can be treated by Shockwave Therapy and book your treatment sessions today!

Is it covered by my medial plan?

You will be issued a receipt for “Physiotherapy, Athletic Therapy or Acupuncture” depending upon the therapist you see. If you have benefits it should be covered, but check with your provider.

Are there any contra-indications?

Yes, the following:

  • Cortisone injection within the last 6 weeks
  • Hemophilia or any blood coagulation disorder
  • Blood thinner medication ( eg. Heparin, Coumadin)
  • Heart or circulatory problems (Thrombosis)
  • Growing children (Growth Plates)
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Shockwaves are generally not applied to target areas located above air filled tissue (lungs), large nerves and blood vessels, the spinal column or the head.

The shockwave unit is only available at the ORC location.