What is Shockwave therapy (Radial Pressure Waves, RPW)?

Low Frequency soundwaves in the form of a Shockwave are focused on the tissue to be treated.

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What is Radial Shockwave Therapy(RPW) used for?

RPW therapy has been shown to help improve pain in various musculoskeletal conditions.3-10

  • Hip pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Elbow pain
  • Knee pain
  • Achilles tendon pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Myofascial trigger points
  • Disorder of tendon insertion

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How Does Shockwave Help To Heal the Body?

Radial pressure waves influence cellular activity by mechanotransduction, where the mechanical energy of an acoustic wave is converted into biochemical energy in the cell and extracellular matrix (1). RPW therapy is a pro-inflammatory modality which can be used to “reboot” the healing process in stalled, chronic (greater than 12 weeks duration) conditions that have failed to heal.

The following link gives a clear explanation of the physiological effects of treatment.


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Are there any other treatment effects?

New blood vessel formation
Due to microtraumas caused by shockwave therapy, there is a significant increase in the expression of growth factors such as eNOS, VEGF, PCNS and BMP. These growth factors are involved in the process of neovascularization, where arterioles are stimulated to form and grow, which has a positive effect on improved blood supply, bone and tendon repair, and tissue regeneration (6).

Collagen production
Shockwave therapy stimulates procollagen synthesis, necessary for the repair of damaged musculoskeletal and ligament structures. It forces the newly created collagen fibers into a longitudinal structure, making the newly formed tendon fibers denser and stiffer, with a firmer structure (7).

Tenocyte proliferation
Shockwave therapy leads to an increase in transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β 1), which is known to regulate tendon repair (8).

Fibrotic tissue and scar remodelling
Shockwave therapy alters the expression of fibrosis-related molecules in fibroblasts, which affects scar remodelling and resorption1.

Osteoblast and osteoclast activity
Alongside TGF-β 1, fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) is also increased by shockwave therapy, and together they are influential in bone healing (1,9).

RPW therapy has a confirmed effect in improving the symptoms of pain (10).

Reducing hypertonia in spastic muscles
Both F-SW and RPW have been proven effective here (11), with RPW particularly effective in aiding increased range of movement (12).

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What is the Cost for Shockwave Therapy?

Patients usually require 3-6 Treatment sessions. Each session costs $130 if private or an additional $45 if for an ACC accepted condition.

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