One hundred million Americans currently suffer from chronic pain, the most common cause of long-term disability in the country. Thirty-six million patients miss work because of it each year, leading to $560-635 billion in lost revenue and other costs. Shockwave therapy is one of the most promising new chronic pain treatments because it works when other methods fail. One of the best things about this new treatment methodology is its adaptability. It’s also effective at managing a variety of other conditions where the nerves, muscles, and/or bones may have become damaged. Before you engage in the treatment, you must know the answers to questions such as what shockwave therapy is, how does it work, and is it right for me. Read on for these answers and more.

What Is Shockwave Therapy?

Before getting any treatment method, you should do your research so that you’re able to understand it. Learning what shockwave therapy is can help you prepare for the procedure and decide if it’s the best method to treat your symptoms.

Shockwave therapy uses a handheld device to send acoustic waves into a specific area of the body. It works by inducing microtrauma, triggering a response in the body that improves blood flow and accelerates healing.

Shockwave therapy can have a range of positive effects on the body and mind. These include pain reduction, improved range of motion, and faster recovery from injuries or surgeries.

There is a lack of research into shockwave therapy and its effectiveness. The studies that have been done continue to provide more evidence to support it.

At its core, shockwave therapy is more of a management method than medical treatment. It’s used to help patients who experience persistent pain, using repeated sessions to reduce the symptoms felt throughout the patient’s lifetime.

How Does Shockwave Therapy Work?

Answering questions like what is shockwave therapy isn’t enough. You must also understand all the different types available today.

There are several options to choose from for shockwave therapy. They differ in their methodologies and effectiveness.

Comparing the options and knowing what results to expect helps you prepare and choose the best treatment for your medical needs. This is relatively easy to do if you first categorize them by factors such as their type, methodology, process, and results.


One of the best ways to classify the different shockwave therapy treatments available today is by examining what type of conditions it manages and how. The two main types are musculoskeletal and pain management.

Musculoskeletal shockwave therapy works by inducing microtrauma in affected tissue. It can impact both affected bones and muscles.

Pain management shockwave therapy is focused more on managing pain, regardless of the condition causing it. It’s often used in the treatment of all forms of chronic pain but can provide relief to any patient that is hurting.


Another way to classify shockwave therapy treatments is to look at how they do their work. Despite the name, not all treatments use electricity and may rely on another method instead.

There are two primary methods of shockwave therapy to be aware of. They use either high-energy or low-energy pulses.

Other treatment options induce micro trauma in different but equally effective ways.

ESWT or extracorporeal shockwave therapy uses pressurized air. FSWT or focused shockwave therapy uses electromagnetic pulses. RST or radial shockwave therapy uses sound waves.

There isn’t enough research to determine which shockwave therapy method is best, but they’re all capable of treating chronic pain and other conditions. Learn more about the process by viewing the different shockwave therapy protocols here.

Treatment Process

Your experience with shockwave therapy will differ depending on the treatment methodology and/or type your doctor uses. Choosing the best one for you depends on a variety of factors.

The condition the patient suffers from is a crucial consideration when choosing a treatment method. For example, pain management shockwave therapy may not be enough for conditions that damage the muscles or bones but could help a patient with chronic migraines.

Medical conditions like chronic pain cause patients to lose time they would have put towards work or pleasurable activities. They still must work treatments into their schedules, meaning that the time they have to spare can help them choose which method is best for them.

Low-energy shockwave therapy requires three separate sessions. The high-energy method can be completed in a single session. In either case, the process usually takes 5-10 minutes.

Different types of shockwave therapy treatments also have varying pain levels. The low-energy method causes the least amount of pain. The high-energy approach causes more and usually requires anesthesia.

Once you’ve decided on a treatment methodology, you can go into the doctor’s office more prepared and knowing what to expect.


Shockwave therapy reduces symptoms such as pain and inflammation. It’s perfect for providing relief to those who haven’t benefited from other treatment methods. It also serves as an effective alternative to surgery with fewer side effects.

It’s best not to expect immediate relief from pain management shockwave therapy. It can take time to work correctly and may be unable to remove the source of the pain.

Most patients experience the best results from engaging in repeated sessions. Conditions like chronic pain can be lifelong, but continual shockwave therapy treatments can reduce the symptoms.

Do I Need Shockwave Therapy?

Any part of the body can begin to hurt at any time for almost any reason, but patients have a right to become concerned if the aching lasts for more than a few days. This is when they should seek out the best possible treatment method.

Shockwave therapy can treat a variety of conditions, making it an adaptable and effective treatment method. Once the source of the patient’s pain is identified, the treatment is directed there to provide relief.

It doesn’t matter if the pain is coming from the muscles, a chronic pain condition, a lack of sleep, and/or the patient’s mind. Shockwave therapy can effectively treat all of these issues.

Musculoskeletal Pain

Musculoskeletal shockwave therapy is approved to treat a variety of conditions including tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, shoulder calcification, epicondylitis, avascular necrosis, and the non-union of bones.

Back pain is one of the most common conditions in the world, with 80 percent of adults experiencing it at some point in their lives. Pain management shockwave therapy improves patients’ mobility and allows them to resume their normal lives sooner.

Injuries and surgeries are other common sources of pain. Musculoskeletal shockwave therapy provides precise relief to the affected area.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is any form of pain that lasts 12 weeks or more. Pain management shockwave therapy provides relief to the 42 percent of patients whose pain isn’t adequately managed by medications.

Migraines are the third most common condition in the world and an often-diagnosed type of chronic pain. Others include back pain and neuropathy.

Cancer affects the entire body, which far too often leads to widespread pain. 75% of cancer patients experience chronic pain. While shockwave therapy cannot remove tumors or cancer cells, it can reduce the pain they cause.

Shockwave therapy may also help anyone who’s been injured or undergone recent surgery. It’ll lead to quicker healing and improved mobility. All sources of chronic pain can be managed with this effective method.


Sleep and pain are more closely connected than one may think. As pain increases, sleep begins to suffer, which increases pain.

Compounded diagnoses are common due to these two factors’ powerful effects on one another. At least 45.5 percent of chronic pain patients also have a sleep disorder, and 26% have clinical insomnia.

Shock therapy allows patients to finally get the rest they need to recover from and manage their symptoms. If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, ask yourself if pain could be the reason and if shockwave therapy could help.


Pain and stress are connected as well, with one affecting the other. Pain management shockwave therapy can help patients rest and relax, as it’s also an effective stress reduction method.

Shockwave therapy’s ability to reduce stress can also help treat pain that other methods can’t. It can minimize psychosomatic pain that results from stress and not from damaged muscles or nerves.

If you suffer from any of these conditions, consult your doctor to see if shockwave therapy is right for you. It’s an effective way to supplement and/or replace other treatment methods when they prove ineffective.

Where Can I Get Shockwave Therapy?

Before considering any form of treatment, you must understand it as fully as possible. Being able to answer questions such as what is shockwave therapy and how can it help me helps you decide if the treatment is right for you.

There are several types, but they all serve to treat a variety of conditions and reduce all kinds of chronic pain. By speeding up blood flow and healing, they can provide quick relief.

Once you’ve decided if shockwave therapy can manage your symptoms, it’s essential to choose the best place and methodology to receive it. Check out our range of shockwave therapy products and contact us today for more information.