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Shockwave Therapy – Treatment of Musculoskeletal injuries

Extracorporeal Radial Shockwave Therapy is a series of high-energy impulses to the affected area.

It is used as a treatment for trigger points, myofascial pain and tendinopathies like shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, hip bursitis, patellar tendinitis (knee), Achilles tendinopathy (ankle) and plantar fasciitis (foot).

Pedro is a free database of over 28’000 randomised clinical trails (RCTs), systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines in physiotherapy.

Clinical studies performed with the Swiss Dolorclast


‘Shock wave’ therapy is now extensively used in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. This systematic review summarises the evidence base for the use of these modality.


A thorough search of the literature was performed to identify studies of adequate quality to assess the evidence base for shockwave therapy on pain in specific soft tissue injuries.


23 appropriate studies were identified. There is evidence for the benefit oESWT in a number of soft tissue musculoskeletal conditions, and evidence the treatment modality is safe. There is evidence that ESWT is effective in the treatment of plantar fasciitis, calcific tendinitis and lateral epicondylitis. Where benefit is seen in ESWT, it appears to be dose dependent, with greater success seen with higher dose regimes. There is low level evidence for lack of benefit of low-dose ESWT and in non-calcific rotator cuff disease and mixed evidence in lateral epicondylitis.


Br J Sports Med. 2014 Nov;48(21):1538-42. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2012-091961. Epub 2013 Aug 5.