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Shockwave Therapy Explained

The therapeutic shock wave was first introduced as a medical procedure for elimination of kidney stones, without causing skin damage in the past 20 years.
Nowadays, the application of radial shock waves also known as Radial Pressure Waves (RPW) is being successfully expanded to other wellness and therapeutic applications. While they are particularly used in Europe it’s an extremely new technique for musculoskeletal treatment across the UK.

The efficacy of this treatment option for specific ailments has been evaluated and approved from the two organizations: NICE (UK National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence) as well as FDA (US Food and Drug Administration).

Shockwave Therapy explained

The procedure is known by a variety of names, with the most popular is SHOCK WAVE THERMAPY or EXTRACORPORAL SHOCKWAVE THERMAPY (ESWT). There has been a suggestion that the therapy variant of shockwave therapy near me may be better described as RADIAL SHOCKWAVE THERMAPY (RSWT) to differentiate the nature of the waves in comparison to the high-energy specific versions that are used in various other areas of medical practice.

Radial shockwaves are often called Radial Pressure Waves. They are a type of pulse generated by compressed air, which transforms into an acoustic energy. The acoustic energy is propagated by a dispersive wave into the tissues of the area affected.

Production principles

There are four basic ways to generate the’shock wave’. The four methods can be described as spark discharge, piezoelectric, the electromagnetic and pneumatic (or electrohydraulic). The wave produced can differ in energy content and will also have distinct features of penetration within human tissues. The most frequently utilized generation technique is built in the pneumatic system and the primary reason for this is because it produces a radiatal (dispersive) result is generated. These focused waves can be vital for surgical interventions however due to they are destructive, they’re not suitable for therapeutic use. They are also described as “hard” shockwaves. the dispersive or radial wave is is referred to as a soft shockwave.

RPW Theories of the mechanism of action

Reduced pain: The powerful pulses that are transmitted from the handpiece to the tissue helps block the transmission of pain signals (Gate Theory of Control)
The increased metabolism is caused by shock waves. They influence tissue on an cellular level, encouraging the release of pain-reducing and inflammatory-restraining substances
Revascularisation: frequent shock waves alter circulation of blood, which aids in regeneration and healing of tissue
A decrease in muscle tone: shock waves aid in restoring a normalized muscle tone by reducing the effects of muscle tension


The fundamental technology used in ESWT has been utilized for decades for treating millions of patients. The technique has been employed the most frequently in Europe and, throughout all this time, ESWT for the musculoskeletal system has discovered to have almost no adverse effects when administered by doctors who are trained. In reality, even minor reactions such as tingling burning, redness or bruises are scarce, light and temporary.