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Edmonton Physio Radial Shockwave Treatment

Radial Shockwave Treatment

Do you have a chronic Achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, bursitis, rotator cuff problem or plantar fasciitis that has not responded to other types of treatment? These issues, in addition to many others, often respond well to Radial Shockwave treatment.

What is radial shockwave treatment?

Shockwave therapy is a treatment that accelerates the healing process in the body by stimulating cellular metabolism and enhancing blood circulation to regenerate damaged tissue. Strong energy pulses are applied to the affected area for short periods of time, creating micro-cavitation bubbles that expand and burst. The force created by these bubbles penetrates tissue and stimulates cells in the body that are responsible for bone and connective tissue healing. In many instances, shockwave therapy is most effective in cases where the human body has not been able to heal itself on its own.

Shockwave therapy has been shown to effectively treat:

  • Feet – heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis

  • Elbow – tennis and golfers elbow

  • Shoulder – calcific tendinosis of rotator cuff muscles

  • Knee – patellar tendonitis

  • Hip – bursitis

  • Lower leg – shin splints

  • Upper leg – Iliotibial band friction syndrome

  • Back pain – lumbar and cervical spine regions and chronic muscular pain

  • Pain from arthritis of the knee and hip have also been shown to respond favourably to Shockwave

Some benefits of shockwave therapy:

  • Non-invasive solution for chronic pain in your shoulder, back, heel, knee or elbow

  • No anesthesia required, no drugs, no injections

  • Limited side effects

  • New research shows that it can have a positive effect on acute pain 

  • Shockwave therapy has excellent cost/effectiveness ratio

What does shockwave treatment feel like?

There may be some discomfort during the treatment depending on the level of pain that you are already experiencing in the area. However, since the treatments only last for about 5 minutes over the painful site, most patients are able to tolerate this discomfort quite well. Additionally, the intensity of treatment can be adjusted by the therapist during the treatment in order to make it more comfortable. 


After the treatment, you may experience temporary soreness, tenderness or local swelling for a few days following the procedure, as the shockwaves stimulate an inflammatory response. But this is the body healing itself naturally. So, it’s important not to take any anti-inflammatory medication after treatment, which may slow down the results.


Upon completion of your treatment you can return to most regular activities almost immediately.  We often recommend reduced activity for only 24-48 hours after treatment and then you are able to resume as your symptoms allow.

Are there any side effects?

Shockwave therapy should not be used if there is a circulation or nerve disorder, infection, bone tumour, or a metabolic bone condition. Shockwave therapy should also not be used if there are any open wounds or tumours or during pregnancy. People using blood-thinning medications or who have severe circulatory disorders may also not be eligible for treatment.

Success rates:

  • 91% improved for Calcific Tendinitis

  • 90% improved for Plantar Fasciitis

  • 77% improved for chronic tennis elbow


Most patients with chronic pain problems have been through various unsuccessful types of treatments. Up to 80% of the same patients worldwide report that Shockwave therapy has helped them eliminate their problem.

How many treatments are required?

The number of treatments varies depending on the indication and tissue response. The effect of the treatment is cumulative, so you will typically need more than one (3–5) treatment. Very often though, you will experience relief right after the first treatment.

Do I have to do anything else along with shockwave treatment? 

Tissue repair is only one phase of healing, that’s what the Shockwave helps us get you through.  You will still have to remodel and recondition the newly healed tissue in order for it to withstand the demands of your activity. Your therapist will guide you through exercises designed to help you minimize your chances of it happening again.

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