(Radial) Shockwave Therapy (SWT)


Radial Shockwave is a tried, tested and well-researched treatment used in physiotherapy since the 1990s. It has gained popularity due to its effectiveness and application across a wide range of professions.

SWT is used by both our podiatrists and our chiropractors to treat a variety of conditions including those listed below. The list isn't exclusive:
  • Plantar fasciitis read more
    – inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thin layer of tough connective tissue supporting the arch of the foot. Repeated microscopic tears of the plantar fascia cause pain, usually in the heel and is one of the most common foot disorders encountered by podiatrists. It has been estimated that over two million people each year receive treatment for heel pain, which affects as much as 10% of the population during the course of a lifetime and is present in both the athletic and non-athletic. Heel pain can affect anyone from the age of 8 to 80, but generally affects those over 40 years of age and does not seem to be gender specific and affects both feet in up to a third of cases.
  • Shoulder pain read more
    – can be caused by calcifications, impingement syndrome or frozen shoulder causing dull to sever pain and reduced range of movement. Pain may be localised or radiate down the arm depending on specific condition.
  • Tennis/Golfers elbow (or lateral/medial epicondylitis) read more
    - occurs in approximately 10% of the population. Typically, it presents as pain on the outside of the elbow and can affect grip and hand strength. Often called a repeat stress injury, pain can be experienced for a number of months without improvement. Traditional treatment is anti-inflammatories, steroid injection, rest and lengthy immobilisation which isn’t always practical.
  • Heel spur read more
    – the plantar facia naturally attaches to a ‘spur’ of bone that is formed on the underside of the heel bone (calcanium). Occasionally calcium deposits can form to increase the size of the spur causing pain and associated inflammation and plantar fascia issues.
  • Hip pain read more
    – age and use can cause wear, damage and thinning of the joint cartilage. Local muscles and tendons due can suffer overuse. Falls can lead to fracture and injury. Chronic pain often results from one or all of these conditions.
  • Rotator Cuff syndrome and calcification read more
    – there are numerous reasons for this condition which most commonly manifests itself as chronic pain and loss of range of movement. Typically restricted are the rotational movement of the arm required to move the hand up behind the back to fasten a bra or put the arm in the sleeve of a shirt and to raise the arm to the side above shoulder height.
  • Jumpers knee read more
    – presents as pain below the knee with restricted function.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome read more
    – caused by inflammation in the tendons and restriction of the blood vessels as they pass under the ligament the flexor retinaculum in the wrist leading to blanching and loss of function of the hand.
  • Chronic tendinopathy including Achilles tendonitis read more
    – repetitive overloading leads to accumulating microtrauma and can lead to chronic tendonopathy with inflammation of the tendon and damage at a cellular level.

Shockwaves are transient acoustic waves which uniquely transmit high energy peaks used to both disintegrate and heal.

Shockwave Therapy is supported by numerous clinical studies attesting to its healing and reparative effects on tissue with over 80% success in relieving symptoms and reducing or eliminating pain.

SWT is tested and approved by physicians all over the world and used from out-patient clinics to amateur sportspeople to Olympic athletes.

SWT is used in rehabilitation, podiatry, chiropractic, physiotherapy, orthopaedics, veterinary medicine, aesthetics and dermatology.

Medical effects

The high energy peak acoustic waves generated by SWT interact with tissue stimulating the medical effects of accelerating tissue repair and cell growth, reducing pain and improving range of movement.

Some of the independent and combined effects of SWT are –

  • Capillary micro-ruptures in tendon and bone trigger repair processes leading to the creation of new blood vessels reversing chronic inflammation by increasing mast cell activity.
  • Collagen production is stimulated by accelerated procollagen synthesis.
  • Breaking down of calcium build-up in calcific disorders.
  • Dispersion of pain mediators
  • Trigger point release.
Frequently asked questions

Will Shock Wave Therapy help me?

Most people experiencing chronic pain have unsuccessfully tried other treatments. Over 80% of the same people worldwide report SWT has helped resolve their condition.

How long does it take?

The application of SWT within your appointment is normally completed in around five minutes.

Does it hurt?

Depending on the level of pain already being experienced in the area to be treated there may be some discomfort. Treatments normally last less than five minutes meaning that any discomfort is tolerable but the intensity can be varied during the session to suit patient preference.

How many treatments will I need?

This varies depending on the nature of the condition being treated and the response of the patient. Effects are cumulative, typically more than one but fewer than six visits with relief normally experienced from the first visit onwards.

Will there be any soreness afterwards?

Sometimes there may be some tenderness for a short period but nothing intolerable or limiting.

Is there anything I can't do following the treatment?

It is sensible to avoid physical exertion for a couple of days following treatment to allow healing to take place.
Book an Appointment

If you would like more information or to book an appointment with one of our podiatrists or chiropractors please call 01628 773588 or e-mail info@maidenheadpodiatry.co.uk.