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Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is an innovative therapy with high patient satisfaction, invented in Germany, Europe in the 1990s. It is a treatment which is non-invasive, has no downtime and minimal risks. Through treatment, a shockwave will be directed towards the damaged area which initiates biological processes. This helps to reduce pain and to achieve a more rapid return to normal function.


Shockwaves in medicine are innovative. From 1968 until 1971 the interaction between shock waves and biological tissue in animals was investigated in Germany. In 1980 the first patient with a kidney stone was treated. Further animal experiments were done using shockwaves for fractures.


At the beginning of the 90'ies the first reports about shock wave therapy for tendon problems were published. 

Shockwave therapy’s is researched in numerous clinical studies. Today, it is a popular and highly effective way to manage musculoskeletal pain at its origin without surgery with patient satisfaction between 70% and 80%.

How does shockwave work?

Shock waves are acoustic pressure waves with high peak energy. Shock waves are generated at supersonic speed. During treatment, they are directed from the outside directly onto the part of the body to be treated, with the help of a transducer.

Thus, shock waves act exactly at the pain’s center or where the cause of your pain is localized.

Shockwaves possible working mechanisms:

  • Increased collagen synthesis

  • Reduction of inflammation

  • Neovascularization 

  • Decrease in soft tissue calcifications

  • Pain reduction

Shockwave session process

During the therapy, the patient lies down or sits. A contact gel is applied to the skin, this improves transmission of the impulses. The amount and strength of the impulses are then adjusted to the individual patient.

Very mild pain may be felt, this may be the case when shock waves get to injured tissue. The pain usually subsides rapidly and while the treatment is still in progress. 

One session lasts for about 10-20 minutes. The number of sessions needed varies from patient to patient, and can be defined more precisely after a diagnosis is made (usually 3-5).

Multiple other noninvasive effective treatments can be added in your treatment plan like simple home exercises, bracing, orthotics, load management and others. Referal to physical therapists can be advised when necessary.

Side effects of shockwave therapy are extremely rare. Harmless, local swelling and reddening of the skin may occur, which disappears after a short time.

Shockwave indications

Everyone is welcome; from work related overuse and exercise injuries to recreative- or competitive sports injuries


The range of applications of shockwave therapy includes but are not limited to:


  • Shoulder pain

    • Rotatorcuff including supraspinatus tendon pain​

  • Elbow pain

    • Lateral epicondylopathie or tennis elbow​

    • Medial epicondylopathie or golfers elbow

    • Distal biceps and triceps tendinopathie

  • Hip pain

    • Greater trochanter pain syndrome​

    • Gluteal tendon pain

    • Hamstring tendon pain

    • Adductor tendon pain

  • Knee pain​

    • Patellar tendon pain​

    • Osgood Schlatter 

    • Pes anserine tendon pain

  • Ankle and foot pain

    • Achilles tendon pain​

    • Peroneal tendon pain

    • Plantar fascia pain and heel spur

  • Muscle pain

    • Myofascial pain - neck and back pain​

    • Muscle strain

  • Ligament pain

Shockwave contraindications

Absolute contraindications

  • Malignant tumor in the treatment area (not as underlying disease)

  • Fetus in the treatment area

Training and experience

Glenn Van Crombrugge is Sports Medicine Doctor licensed in Belgium, Europe. In Germany and Belgium he was trained by specialized professors in shockwave therapy. With this high quality experience as European Physician he will provide this therapy here in Phoenix, AZ as MSK Sonographer and Shockwave Specialist.

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