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What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy?

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is a non invasive, non surgical, drug free procedure for the treatment of chronic (long term) tendon pain. A shockwave is an acoustic energy wave. It is created outside of the body (extracorporeal) by compressed air, which the physiotherapist then directs onto the effected tissue via a hand held device.

Shockwave therapy being applied to the knee

How does ESWT work?

ESWT has two main modes of action that help with chronic tendon pain.

First the shockwaves work to desensitise the nerve endings, which will often reduce some pain immediately. 
Secondly, the treatment initiates a pro-inflammatory reaction within the body, increasing blood circulation and metabolism, which "re-boots" the tendons failed healing response.

Is ESWT safe?

The safety of ESWT has been proven following extensive clinical use and the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has written full guidance on its use.

What conditions can ESWT treat?

ESWT is effective at treating chronic tendon problems and the associated pain, even when other conventional treatments have failed. Specific conditions are as follows:

  • Calcific tendonitis of the shoulder
  • Tennis elbow
  • Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome
  • Hamstring  tendinopathy
  • Patella  tendinopathy
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Achilles  tendinopathy


Shockwave is more effective with a specific rehabilitation protocol relevant to your current injury. The physiotherapy team at the Clinic will assess and treat any biomechanical issues such as posture, alignment, gait, running style, and muscle length and strength issues, which may have contributed to your tendon problem. This will improve your likelihood of a full recovery.

If you have been suffering with a chronic tendon injury and previous treatment has failed to resolve it, then contact the physiotherapy department for more information on ESWT and how we can help you.

Appointment enquiries: +44 (0) 20 3944 1073 Concierge service: +44 (0) 203 219 3323 Self-Pay service: +44 (0) 203 918 7301International office: +44 (0) 203 219 3266 Invoice and payment enquiries: +44 (0) 207 616 7708 General enquiries: +44 (0) 20 3918 9135

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