Focused Shockwave Therapy

Focused Shockwave Therapy

What is Shockwave Therapy? Shockwave therapy or extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) has been shown to be a highly effective treatment option alongside conservative manual therapies and rehabilitation. This is endorsed by The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). The main benefits of using shockwave are pain relief and restoration of normal cell and tissue function. There are now multiple, randomised, double blinded clinical trials that support the use of shockwave therapy for lateral epicondylitis, Calcific tendinitis of the shoulder and plantarfasciitis.

The History!

Shockwave was initially used in the 1970s and 1980s as a non-evasive treatment for kidney stones and has since been developed for use in musculo-skeletal injury. This has led to a growing body of evidence in aiding healing, especially in chronic conditions.

Shockwave can be distinguished into two types, Radial and Focussed. The difference is based on the energy delivery, the depth, and the physiological response.

Radial vs focussed

What is Shockwave Therapy used for?

Shockwave therapy is an effective treatment modality for a number of upper and lower limb conditions, when used in conjunction with exercise prescription. These include:

Achilles Tendinopathy


Calcaneal Heel Spurs

Calcific Tendinitis of the Shoulder

Patella Tendinopathy

Stress Fractures

Lateral Hip Pain

Trigger Point Treatment

Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy

Golfer’s Elbow (common flexor tendinopathy)

Tennis Elbow (Common Extensor Tendinopathy)

Shockwave will be delivered as part of you normal therapy input, complementing soft tissue correction, joint mobility and any strength and conditioning needs.

If you are being referred from another therapist then we do have the option for shorter sessions where only shockwave will be delivered.

How Does shockwave work?

A specialist device is used to deliver acoustic energy through the skin to a target tissue. The shockwaves are mechanical and not electrical. They are audible, low energy sound waves which increase blood flow and alter cellular activity of the injured area. When you receive shockwave therapy you will be getting between 4-21 of these shockwaves per second, lasting around 5 minutes, creating on average 2500 shockwaves into the tissue.

Tissue Regeneration

Shockwave stimulates the cells that generate soft tissue and bone . It stimulates stem cell production and can reduce scarring, reduce healing times, and promote tissue regeneration. It will work on muscle, tendons, ligaments and also for regeneration of bone tissue.

Pain Reduction

The pulses delivered to the target tissue inhibit the transmission of the pain signal, initially via hypostimulation anaethesia, then via the pain gate theory. This theory is based on Melzack and Wall’s work (1965). It is stated that shockwave has a 70% success rate for tendinopathies (Moya et al, 2018, Dedes et al, 2018)

The shockwaves also influence the tissue at a cellular level, promoting the release of pain inhibiting and inflammatory substances required for the healing process. Blood flow is also enhanced promoting tissue healing and regeneration

Are there any side effects?

Shockwave is non-invasive, safe, and has very few side effects. In most cases, there may be some local tissue soreness within the first 48 hours, but often you will experienced improved function and a reduction in your presented pain levels.

It is always important to fully assess the area of complaint, to determine a diagnosis and that the correct treatment protocols can be advised.

We do advise taking relative rest after your shockwave treatment for the first 24 hours and not to take non steroidal anti inflammatories.

How much does Shockwave cost?

Focussed Shockwave as a cost is a 'Bolt On'  to any therapy session cost.  You will be paying for the expert time of the therapist to discuss your treatment, and the application of the shockwave as an additional supplement.

  • Single Shockwave application  £60  if you wish to pay as you go
  • A block of 4 session paid in advance is £200 (saving £40)  
  • Additional sessions after the initial course is £40 if required for more chronic injuries

Short Physio session (£24) and the standard 30 min session (£42)


Shockwave is an additional cost to the therapy session and will often be applied in short 15 minute treatment if no other input is required.  A normal therapy session will be used if other treatment is also required.  The average complete cost for the 4 Shockwave treatments and the therapy session is £295

This covered by BUPA, AXA and Vitality Insurers amongst others

If you would like any further information then please contact or call 01453 755948

You can now book this service online at our Stroud clinic

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Clients About Us

I've been very happy with the treatment and service received from Five Valleys Physio. I'd used the same physiotherapist near work in Bristol for years and was worried about changing. Having now done so, the reputation of Five Valleys Physio from friends is well deserved and I'll definitely be back when I break myself again!

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