Shockwave Therapy

The treatment is administered at the Inverness Clinic for Chronic Tendon injuries. Treatments are in blocks of 3 costing £150 in total. For chronic tendon injuries up to 6 sessions may be required. Signs of improvement would usually be expected after 3 treatments.

Shockwave therapy is a modern and highly effective treatment option in Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation medicine. The term shockwave refers to mechanical pressure pulses that expand as a wave in the body. In modern pain therapy, shockwave energy is conducted from the point of origin to the painful body regions / tendon, where it has its therapeutic effect.

The first medical treatment with shockwaves was lithotripsy. This allowed focused shockwaves to essentially dissolve kidney stones without surgical intervention. Today, over 98% of all kidney stones are treated with this technology. The use of shockwaves to treat most tendon related pain began in the early 1990s. Currently the most evidence supports the use of Shockwave in the treatment of Plantar Fasciitis, Plantar Heel Spur, and Achilles Tendinopathy, but it can be used to treat any chronic tendon related pain.

This treatment should certainly be considered before surgical intervention, which will have a much longer recovery time and carries more risk.

Case Example

Below are two X-rays taken 8 months apart of a 73 year old gentlemen. He presented to our clinic with chronic shoulder pain and lifting his arm to the side it would jam at 70 degrees. He was waiting surgical decompression (Acromioplasty) where they grind the bone away from the tip of the shoulder to allow the arm to lift unimpeded by the calcified Subacromial Bursa.


Following 5 sessions of Shockwave he attended his NHS pre-op appointment where he was informed the density was so small it wasnt worth operating. The NHS films showed a 5mm long oval density. A further 3 sessions of shockwave were performed and the result was a normal pain free shoulder. No calcification of the Bursa at all and more importantly no need for surgery.

Calcified Bursa / Tendonitis
Shockwave Tendonitis recovered

Further Sources Of Information

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have produced recommendations for patients on ESWT for Achilles Tendinopathy and Plantar Fasciitis. These documents can be accessed on the NICE website. For a full explanation of how shockwave works, the conditions most amenable to treatment and success rates, click on the more information button below.