How Shockwave Therapy Can Help Alleviate Tendon Pain

Tendon pain is a common condition that affects many individuals, causing discomfort and limiting their ability to perform daily activities. Tendons are tough bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones, and when they become injured or inflamed, it can result in pain and reduced mobility. Tendon pain can occur in various parts of the body, such as the shoulder, elbow, knee, or ankle.

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of tendon pain, including overuse, repetitive motions, poor biomechanics, and age-related degeneration. Additionally, certain medical conditions, such as tendinitis or tendinosis, can also lead to tendon pain. Regardless of the cause, managing and alleviating tendon pain is essential for restoring normal function and improving quality of life.

How Shockwave Therapy Works

Shockwave therapy for tendon pain is a non-invasive treatment modality that has gained popularity in recent years for its effectiveness. It utilizes high-energy sound waves, also known as shockwaves, to stimulate the affected area and promote healing. These shockwaves are delivered to the injured tendon through a handheld device that emits focused waves of energy.

When the shockwaves reach the injured tendon, they create microtrauma within the tissue. This microtrauma triggers the body’s natural healing response, increasing blood flow and stimulating the production of new blood vessels, collagen, and other healing factors. Over time, this promotes tissue growth and repair, leading to pain relief and improved function.

Shockwave therapy also has the added benefit of reducing inflammation in the affected area. The shockwaves disrupt the pain signals transmitted by the nerves, sometimes providing immediate pain relief. Additionally, shockwave therapy has been shown to break down calcifications or scar tissue that may have formed in the tendon, further improving its function.

Benefits of Shockwave Therapy for Tendon Pain

Shockwave therapy offers several benefits for individuals suffering from tendon pain. One of the main advantages is its non-invasive nature, meaning that it does not involve any surgical procedures or incisions. This makes it a safe and effective treatment option for those who may not be suitable candidates for surgery or prefer to explore non-surgical alternatives.

Another benefit of shockwave therapy for tendon pain is its ability to provide pain relief. Many individuals experience significant improvement in their symptoms after just a few sessions of shockwave therapy. The effects of the treatment can often be felt immediately, with pain reduction and improved function continuing to improve in the weeks following the therapy.

Furthermore, shockwave therapy has a relatively short treatment time and minimal downtime. Each session typically lasts between 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size and location of the affected area. Most individuals can resume their normal activities immediately after the treatment, with little to no restrictions or post-treatment care required.

Shockwave Therapy for Tendon Pain Conditions

Shockwave therapy has been found to be effective in treating a variety of tendon-related conditions. Some of the most common conditions that can benefit from shockwave therapy include:

  • Plantar fasciitis: This condition involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. Shockwave therapy may help reduce pain and improve mobility in individuals with plantar fasciitis.
  • Achilles tendinopathy: Achilles tendinopathy refers to the degeneration or inflammation of the Achilles tendon. Shockwave therapy may promote healing and alleviate pain in individuals with this condition.
  • Tennis elbow: Also known as lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is a condition that causes pain on the outside of the elbow. Shockwave therapy may help reduce pain and improve grip strength in individuals with tennis elbow.
  • Rotator cuff tendinopathy: This condition involves inflammation or degeneration of the tendons in the shoulder. Shockwave therapy may help improve pain and function in individuals with rotator cuff tendinopathy.
  • Patellar tendinopathy: Patellar tendinopathy, also known as jumper’s knee, is a condition that causes pain in the patellar tendon, which connects the kneecap to the shinbone. Shockwave therapy may help alleviate pain and improve function in individuals with this condition.

What to Expect During a Shockwave Therapy Session

Before undergoing shockwave therapy, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional who specializes in this treatment modality. During the initial consultation, the healthcare professional will assess the individual’s condition and determine if shockwave therapy is an appropriate treatment option.

Once deemed suitable, the individual will be scheduled for their shockwave therapy sessions. The number of sessions required may vary depending on the specific condition and severity of symptoms. Typically, individuals will undergo between three to five sessions, spaced one to two weeks apart, to achieve optimal results.

During a shockwave therapy session, the individual will be positioned comfortably, and a gel will be applied to the affected area. The healthcare professional will then use a handheld device to deliver the shockwaves to the injured tendon. The intensity and frequency of the shockwaves can be adjusted based on the individual’s tolerance and the specific condition being treated.

The treatment itself is usually well-tolerated, with minimal discomfort reported. Some individuals may experience a mild tingling or tapping sensation during the procedure, but this should not cause any significant pain. After each session, typically the individual can resume their normal activities, as there is minimal downtime associated with shockwave therapy.

Recovery and Follow-up Care After Shockwave Therapy for Tendon Pain

Following a shockwave therapy session, it is important to follow any post-treatment instructions provided by the healthcare professional. This may include avoiding high-impact activities or modifying certain movements to prevent re-injury. Applying ice to the treated area and taking over-the-counter pain medication can help manage any residual soreness or discomfort.

In addition to these self-care measures, the healthcare professional may recommend specific exercises or stretches to help maintain and improve the benefits of shockwave therapy. These exercises are designed to strengthen the affected tendon and surrounding muscles, improving overall function and preventing future injuries.

It is essential to attend all scheduled follow-up appointments to monitor the progress of the treatment and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan. The healthcare professional may also provide additional therapies or treatments, such as physical therapy or orthotics, incrediwear compression sleeves, and topical CBMD cream  to further enhance the healing process and prevent recurrence of tendon pain.

Alternative Treatments for Tendon Pain

While shockwave therapy has proven to be effective for many individuals with tendon pain, there are alternative treatment options available. These may include:

  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy involves targeted exercises and stretches to improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the affected tendon.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy: PRP therapy involves injecting a concentrated solution of the individual’s own blood platelets into the injured tendon to promote healing.
  • Surgery: In severe cases of tendon pain that do not respond to conservative treatments, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair or remove damaged tissue.

Before considering any alternative treatments, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate course of action based on the individual’s specific condition and needs.


Tendon pain can be a debilitating condition that affects an individual’s quality of life and ability to perform daily activities. Fortunately, shockwave therapy offers a non-invasive and effective treatment option for individuals suffering from tendon pain. By stimulating the body’s natural healing response, shockwave therapy can alleviate pain, promote tissue healing, and improve function.

Whether it’s plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, or any other tendon-related condition, shockwave therapy has been shown to provide pain relief and improved quality of life. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine if shockwave therapy is a suitable treatment option for your tendon pain. Take the first step towards a pain-free future with shockwave therapy.

Schedule a consultation with the healthcare professionals at The OrthoHealing Center today to explore how shockwave therapy can help alleviate your tendon pain and improve your quality of life.

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