Chronic Pain? Have you heard of Shockwave?


Have you been suffering long term, soft tissue type pain, that never seems to go away.

Perhaps your injury only affects you when you are performing physical activity. Or maybe your pain seems to go away short term, only to come back again just as soon as you get back into something you love.

Dealing with chronic tendon or soft tissue pain can be a real nuisance, and sometimes it can feel like you have tried just about everything to relieve it. If this is you, you may be someone who would benefit from shockwave therapy. Our team of osteopaths at Total Balance have been trained using the shockwave machine, and it is another tool we can use to help you manage your injury. 

So what is shockwave therapy? Shockwave involves using a hand piece that is placed on the painful area. Once the machine is turned on, it will then generate energy through vibrations on the painful musculoskeletal area. The science is with this repeated shock going through the tissue causes a blocking effect of the nerve endings of pain sensitive fibers, through substance P, which is released during the therapy. This will lead to a rapid decrease in the pain symptoms. This also has the potential of replacing surgery in many orthopedic disorders without the surgical risks. The complication rates are low and negligible.(1)

Will shockwave help me with my problem? The odds are in your favour as research suggests that about 80% of patients who have shockwave treatment, has found that it helps relieve their pain. 

What can shockwave help with? Common conditions shockwave therapy can treat include: 

  • Achilles tendinopathy 
  • Plantar Fasciitis 
  • Shoulder and elbow tendon issues, such as Rotator cuff tendinopathy or tennis elbow 
  • Patella tendinopathy or tears 
  • Hamstring tendinopathy or tears 
  • Trochanteric bursitis or gluteal tendinopathy. 

More often than not shockwave is used for chronic type of injuries, however, it can sometimes be used for acute injuries with exceptional results. 

Will shockwave treatment hurt? To be honest, yes it will be uncomfortable during the session. The intensity that we use will depend on the extent of the damage of the injury and also you and your pain threshold. Some people report little to no pain with the use of shockwave, others, we have it on the lowest settings to allow them to tolerate the treatment. Shockwave lasts about 5 minutes, and most patients are happy to put up with the short term pain for long term gain. During the session, the intensity can be adjusted if you are finding it too uncomfortable. 

How often will I need treatment? We would usually suggest about 3 or 4 shockwave sessions in about a 2 week period. This is something that can be changed depending on your progress from the treatments. 

Will I feel any pain after the treatment? Most people find that they get relief rather quickly after treatment, it is very uncommon to be feeling pain as a result from the shockwave treatment. Your practitioner will also give you advice on rehabilitation which is usually essential to the recovery. 

Are you looking for support for your aches or pains? Book an appointment with our Osteopath, Dr. Lachlan Chisholm. Lachlan can address your symptoms with hands-on treatment a tailored rehabilitation program for you.

This blog post is an educational tool only.  It is not a replacement for medical advice from a registered and qualified doctor or health professional.

Any other questions not answered here? Get in touch with us!

Phone: (03) 9773 8085

(1). Extracorporeal shockwave therapy in musculoskeletal disorders
(2) A systematic review of shockwave therapies in soft tissue conditions: focusing on the evidence




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