Everything You Should Know About Shockwave Therapy


The core concept of Shockwave therapy usage is typically new in the field of the recovery phase. This was developed as a means of removing kidney stones in the 1980s.

But somehow, it did not take very long for medical professionals to eventually realize that it was also effective in mitigating muscle pains.

Shockwave therapy San Diego was approved by the FDA and eventually had become a prominent method of treatment of most musculoskeletal pain.

Shockwave Therapy: What is it?

Shockwave therapy – also referred to as ESWT or Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy – is a non-surgical therapy that utilizes acoustic Shockwaves that has a low frequency that is produced by a handheld device that triggers the natural tissue healing of the body.

Patients who are considering to undergo surgery for treatment of muscle or tendon pains are recommended to use Shockwave therapy first if their body did not react to their medication, rest, steroid injections or other therapies;

Studies show that following a Shockwave therapy course, up to 90 percent of patients experience drastic changes with the pain.

How Shockwave Therapy Works

Shockwave therapy speeds up the process of healing of the body by triggering the metabolism and boosting the circulation of the blood to repair damaged tissues. Powerful pulses of energy or acoustic waves are introduced upon the painful area.

These pulses take place for relatively short periods, producing bubbles of micro-cavitation that would expand and rupture. The force that all these bubbles cause will penetrate the tissue and induce the cells in the body responsible for the repair of the bone and connective tissues.

A Shockwave machine will send acoustic waves or pulses that help stimulate the increase in production of the body’s collagen, dissolve excess calcium, alter chronic inflammation, facilitate faster tissue recovery, enhance tissue metabolism, and boost bone strength.

Shockwave therapy San Diego is more than effective in several instances in which the human body cannot heal itself all on its own.

Most of the patients report remarkable pain relief immediately following therapy, but there are also others who would take up to 4-5 sessions before they achieve significant pain relief. Even after the prescribed sessions of Shockwave therapy, the body’s natural healing process will still continue.

How Shockwave Therapy Relieves Pain

It has an analgesic effect.

Shockwave therapy helps dilute the neuropeptide substance P4 presence at the injury site; it is the pain’s major source of the target tissue. Numerous different chemical changes that are associated with the Shockwave therapy also helps reduce tissue inflammation, which in turn results in further mitigation of pain.


Repetitive shock waves administered into the area affected help in promoting the formation of new blood vessels at the junction of bones and/or tendons.

Promotes tissue regeneration

Repairing the inflamed or irritated area is made possible through mechanotransduction, which causes a chain of biochemical reactions in cells that promotes the regeneration of tissues.

Shockwave Treatment: Who can avail?

Anyone with an acute or chronic injury that usually involves a muscle or tendon can avail provided that they are assessed first with a therapist that specializes in Shockwave therapy.

Shockwave therapy is considered safe for most people (which include children!); nevertheless, prior to trying Shockwave therapy, it is encouraged to consult with a doctor first if pregnant, taking anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, Naproxen, Advil), blood thinners, has a pacemaker, or have active cancer cells.

Shockwave Treatment Sessions

The total number of Shockwave sessions needed will depend on the nature of the injury sustained, where the area of injury is located in the body, and also the length of time the injury has been attained. The average number of sessions is three to five (maximum will be 8) sessions; however, it is up to the patient. It is highly recommended to have five to seven days apart between each Shockwave therapy session until the whole course is completed.

Advantages of Shockwave Therapy

Quick and efficient

One of Shockwave therapy’s exciting advantages is the short period you will need to devote during treatment. Sessions usually only last five to ten minutes, depending on the scale of discomfort or pain felt during the procedure. The frequency could also be calibrated at the start of the session as each patient may have a radically different pain tolerance for pain.

Fast recovery

Undergoing surgery is intrusive, and quite often, the recovery process is complicated and time-consuming, limiting the way of life and everyday activity. Plus, there is no certainty that the surgery will treat your particular condition successfully. Shockwave therapy offers a non-invasive choice for patients wanting to avoid surgery. There is no specific recovery period for each session. Most patients experience pain within 24 hours, and it can be directly linked to the natural healing process of the body. Following a therapy session, it is recommended to avoid any physical exercise for 24 hours.

There is no need to drink painkillers

What is great with getting a Shockwave therapy is that it is very effective in relieving pain without the need to drink painkillers, which, in the long run, can cause more complications and adverse side effects. The therapy mainly focuses on trigger points that cause pain that is usually at the back, neck, and shoulders. The pulses of acoustic waves that are sent through shocks will unblock the calcium pump, thus, relieving the pain that the body is experiencing.

Eliminates the calcium buildup

Calcium buildup can often eventually lead to small tears and injury to tendons. Shockwave therapy helps to break down existing calcium deposits. Any scar tissue can also be easily broken down in the exact same manner. Shockwave therapy ends up, causing an inflammatory reaction to occur in the body. This would then cause in an increase in the metabolic activity of the area being treated, both promoting and also speeding up the recovery process.


Indeed, there are a lot of benefits that you can get when you avail of Shockwave therapy in managing pain. And there are now numerous Shockwave Therapy San Diego clinics and those around the world that you can choose from to avail of the much-needed treatment sessions.

About Shannon Clark

Shannon holds a degree in Exercise Science and is a certified personal trainer and fitness writer with over 10 years of industry experience.

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