Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is a treatment for tendon pain (tendinopathy) and can be affective in the treatment of a range of tendon problems around the body including plantar facsiitis, ankle, shoulder, knee and elbow pain. EWST is a non-invasive form of treatment with strong support for its effectiveness from a large body of research and clinical trials.

ESWT has two main modes of action which will help with persistent tendon pain. First the shockwaves work to de-sensitise nerve endings which will often give an immediate reduction on pain symptoms. Secondly and often most importantly, the shockwaves cause controlled micro-trauma (microscopic damage) to the tissues which will activate the bodies natural healing response, in doing so the body then can heal any soft tissue problems in that immediate area.

ESWT works best as part of a treatment and rehabilitation programme. Any boimechanical issues ( such as posture, alignment, gait, running stlye, muscle length and strength issues) which have led to a problem should still need to be addressed for best long lasting results. An exercise programme to utilise the affects of ESWT will be issued by your treating clinician.

Is this treatment appropriate for my condition?

A number of studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in treating tendon problems that have failed other forms of conservative management. ESWT is now increasingly being used earlier in treatment to facilitate and speed up recovery. Your physiotherapist can discuss with you if your problem is likely to benefit from this treatment. If you are not currently having treatment please call or email your details and one of our senior therapists will contact you to discuss.

How is the treatment delivered?

All of the research demonstrates best affects with three treatment sessions within 17 day period. Normally patients will book in for 3 consecutive weekly treatments. The treatment last 3-5mins each session.

Other information for patients

ESWT is a non-invasive and very safe treatment but can be quite uncomfortable due to its main mechanism of action causing controlled micro-trauma to provide a window of opportunity for your body to heal. Your treating clinician will discuss and plan your treatment programme with you to ensure it is as effective and comfortable as possible. Immediately after treatment many people feel a dramatic reduction in pain, unfortunately this effect only usually lasts for a few hours. The true lasting benefit is often not realised until around 8-10 weeks after the third (last) treatment.

You will need to avoid heavy impact and loading exercise for a short period after treatment. Clear instructions for post treatment protocals will be provided by your treating clinician.


For self funding patients treatment costs £100 per session (therefore normally £300 for programme of 3 treatments as recommended).

If you have private medical insurance this treatment may not be covered for your specific condition, please always check with your insurance company or discuss with your treating clinician first.

How to book ESWT treatment

If you are already under going treatment please discuss with your therapist or doctor. If you are not currently having treatment please call or email your details and one of our senior therapists will contact you to discuss.

Shockwave is only practiced from our Bury Street clinic.