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Physio FULL

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave Therapy (also called extracorporeal shockwave ESWT) is a safe, and effective treatment approach for a wide range of medical conditions. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is an acoustic pressure wave (not electric shock) which carries high energy to painful spots and musculoskeletal tissues for acute, and chronic conditions. The energy triggers the body's healing response, regeneration and reparative processes of the bones, tendons and other soft tissues. The shock waves produce a rapid increase in blood circulation to the target area and will break down fibrous scar tissue which builds up over time, especially with chronic conditions.

The goal is to ensure that the problem will not return and the issue that originally caused the pain is corrected. Unlike many other "Shockwave Only Clinics", Physiotherapists at Chaparral Physiotherapy & Massage uses the latest Storz Medical shockwave devices in conjunction with other treatment methods to speed recovery and resolve the biomechanical issues that caused the injury to prevent it from returning. Often shockwave therapy with manual therapy physiotherapy treatment reduces the number of treatments needed to repair injuries, saving you time and money.


Through double-blind, randomized control studies, Storz Medical has calculated the effectiveness of shockwave therapy for several treatable conditions.

  • 84% improvement in shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis

  • 91% improvement for calcific tendonitis of the shoulder

  • 77% improvement for tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)

  • 76% improvement for Achilles tendinopathy

  • 74% improvement for patellar tendonitis (jumper’s knee)/achillodynia

  • 80% improvement for radial and ulnar humeral epicondylitis

Shockwave treatments can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes, depending on the area, depth, and severity of the condition and are combined within a Physiotherapy Treatment. Pain relief may be felt as soon as the first session.


Collagen Tissue Stimulation & Formation

Shockwave Therapy accelerates collagen synthesis which helps accelerate tissue healing. Shockwave therapy also helps align collagen fibers to help maximize tendon, muscle, and ligamentous strength.

Tissue healing acceleration

Shockwave Therapy stimulates production of fibroblasts, stem cells, and growth factors which accelerate destruction of damaged tissue and promote healing in tendons, ligaments, skin, nerves and bones.

Bone regeneration and healing

Shockwave Therapy stimulates production of osteoblasts, bone growth factors, and nitrous oxide which contribute to osteogenesis and bone healing.

Circulation enhancement and new blood vessel growth

Shockwave Therapy stimulates angiogenesis, which is the growth of new blood vessels in chronically inflamed tissue, leading to improved circulation and oxygenation to tissue, helping to reduce pain and improve tissue healing.

Pain reduction through neural effects

Shockwave Therapy stimulates pain-inhibiting chemicals including Substance P which reduce pain.

This treatment also decreases the production of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), leading to reduced joint and arthritic pain.

Reduction of de-myelinated nerve fibers, another effect of Shockwave Therapy, helps reduce pain super-sensitivity with chronic disorders.

Acute Inflammation reduction

Shockwave Therapy alters levels of substance P & CGRP which impacts acute inflammation at a cellular level and improves rate of healing.

Chronic inflammation reduction

Shockwave Therapy stimulates mast cells which lead to the release of numerous pro-inflammatory mediators which help restore the normal healing and regeneration process, helping the process of injury repair to finish properly and inflammation to stop.

Release of Trigger Points & Myofascial Tension

Shockwave Therapy helps reverse the metabolic crisis in the muscle fibers that contribute to trigger points and help release myofascial tissue


Common medical conditions treated with Radial Shockwave Therapy include;

• Tennis elbow or Golfer's elbow (lateral & medial epicondylitis)

• Rotator cuff injury

• Treatment of Tendinopathy/Tendonitis

• Plantar Fasciitis

• Patellar Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee)

• Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

• Heel spur

• Metatarsalgia (Pain in the Ball of Your Foot)

• Myofascial Trigger Points

• Calcific Tendonitis

• Tibial Stress Syndrome (Shin Splints)

• Achilles Tendonitis

• Back pain

• Hamstring Strain

• Groin Strain

• Bursitis

• Arthritis

• Scar tissue

• Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)

• Dupuytren's contracture (Trigger Finger)

• Stress fractures

• Enhancement of bone healing




Does it Work?

The reported rate of success is between 75%-95%, depending on the extent of your injury. You may feel an improvement of the treated area after the first treatment, but keep in mind that each treatment is cumulative and relief is often felt after three or four sessions.

1) Shock waves can accelerate the healing process in the body. They stimulate metabolism and improve blood circulation so the damaged tissue can regenerate and fully heal.

2) Shockwaves may break down scar tissue and/or calcification.

3) Transmission of pain can be diminished through neurological mechanisms (inhibition of nociceptors). A trained Physiotherapist will assess if shockwave therapy is beneficial to your specific injury treatment plan. Depending on the type of injury the Physiotherapist will adjust the shockwave intensity and apply the treatment for the recommended time. Utilizing shockwave as part of your regular physiotherapy treatment can reduce the total number treatments required to heal your injury.

Does it hurt?

You may feel some mild discomfort during treatment, depending on how much pain you are already experiencing. Your therapist will monitor you throughout the treatment and can adjust the intensity as needed.

Many patients experience immediate relief of pain after treatment. However, within 2-4 hours after treatment, you may feel sore in the treated area. In few cases, redness or bruising may occur as part of the body’s natural healing process. This is a normal response.

What should I do if I am in pain after the treatment?

The shockwave will trigger an inflammatory response, which is the body’s natural process of healing. For this reason, do not use anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil . Do not use ice. Both of these reduce the body's healing response. The pain should subside within 24 hours. Use of heat packs and gentle stretching is recommended. Normal activities after shockwave are fine, however avoid high impact activities for 72 hours following the treatment.

How many treatments are needed?

The number of treatments will depend on your specific injury, but most conditions require three to five sessions at weekly intervals.

What is the fee for Shockwave?

At Chaparral Physiotherapy & Massage, a Shockwave appointment is incorporated with a manual Physiotherapy treatment. Shockwave treatments are at a different price point than a standard Physio treatment only, due to the time, expertise and equipment costs. Therefore, unlike some clinics, you receive a shockwave treatment and a manual therapy physio treatment in one, at the same time. This ensures the maximum effectiveness of the treatment and can reduce the number of total treatments for your injury. See our fee schedule for current pricing. Note that only one area can be treated for shockwave per appointment.

Is Shockwave Therapy covered by my insurance?

At our clinic, Shockwave is a modality used for Physiotherapy and therefore billed as Physiotherapy. If you plan covers Physio then it will cover our shockwave, although maximum amounts will need to be considered per plan.

Is Shockwave Therapy Safe?

Shockwave is very safe. Some patients may experience some minor discomfort for a day or two after treatment, though most of our patients feel better immediately after. However, shockwave should not be used if you are pregnant, have a pacemaker, have a cancerous tumour at the treatment site, have a blood clotting disorder, if you are taking anti-coagulants, if you have received a steroid injection within 6 weeks, or if you have an infection or skin abrasion at the treatment site. Your physiotherapist will go through the list of contraindications and your health history to make sure it is safe and appropriate for you.

My injury is an old chronic one can Shockwave Therapy help?

Yes Shockwave Therapy is VERY effective on Chronic pain or injuries as it breaks up scar tissue and tells your body to start healing the area again. Shockwave stimulates your body's natural response to a new injury. Shockwave can be effectively used immediately after the injury happens or years down the road.

Will Shockwave Therapy help avoid Surgery?

Radial Shockwave have been scientifically proven and successful in treating pre and post-surgical pain and can significantly reduce healing time. In some cases, combined with Physiotherapy it can reduce the need for surgery.


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