Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT)

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Non-Invasive and Highly Effective
Specialist examining foot before shock wave treatment.

Learn more about how ESWT can help to relieve joint and bone pain.

Factors like aging and activity levels can impact the health and integrity of your muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments. When normal routines like working out, playing your favorite sports, or even walking or jogging become painful, it may be time for you to visit a podiatrist. You could be a viable candidate for innovative treatments like Extracorporeal shock wave treatment (ESWT) for joint and bone pain.

  • Extracorporeal shock wave treatment, or ESWT, is a non-invasive and non-surgical treatment that is applied to strategic areas in the skeletal and muscular systems. As its name implies, it utilizes shock wave technology.
  • It promotes bone density and new tissue growth in the joints, bones, and elsewhere in the body.

ESWT is relatively new to the medical profession, but has thus far given promising results. Most patients go on to heal completely from their joint and bone pain. Success rates for ESWT range from 80 to 90 percent in most patients.

This treatment is safe and can be performed on most people who are in good overall health. It can be a better alternative to traditional invasive surgery for people who want a faster and safer way to recover from their skeletal and muscular conditions.



Custom inserts for shoes.
Custom orthotics for shoes.


Physicians use ESWT to address a number of common skeletal and muscular complaints in patients. The more common conditions for which this therapy can be used include:

  • Achilles tendon
  • Plantar fascia
  • Heel pain
  • Tennis elbow

It is applied to areas of the body such as the feet, ankles, elbows, shoulders, knees, and neck. Before you undergo ESWT, however, your doctor will verify that you are a good candidate for the therapy and that your condition meets the criteria for this treatment.

Candidacy for ESWT

While ESWT is highly recommended for many patients, it may not be an ideal treatment for others. Doctors typically require potential candidates to be in good overall health and not suffer from illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

Further, patients cannot be pregnant or breastfeeding while undergoing ESWT. They likewise must be within a healthy weight for their age and height. If they are obese or overweight, they may be encouraged to lose weight to avoid compromising their recoveries and the results of the treatment.

Recovering from ESWT

ESWT is a non-invasive and non-surgical therapy that can be performed on an outpatient basis. As fast and easy as it may be for many people, it also requires that patients spend the appropriate amount of time recovering from their procedures.

The amount of time that it will take you to heal from ESWT will depend on factors like the condition being treated as well as your overall health. Many patients feel better and can resume their normal activities within a few days or weeks.

Moreover, you may notice that your skin is bruised and tender for the first few days after your treatment. These side effects are entirely normal and dissipate on their own within five to seven days after ESWT. Your doctor may permit you to use an ice pack and take ibuprofen to ease temporary bruising and soreness.

Your physician will also give you precise post-procedure instructions that you should follow during your recovery. You may be advised to take at least a week or two off from school or work. You also may need to limit your daily activities for the first few days after your therapy.

Joint, bone, and muscle pain can be difficult to live with on a daily basis. Rather than cope with discomfort in your feet and ankles, you could regain normal range of motion and function by undergoing ESWT.

This non-invasive procedure may allow you to overcome the worst symptoms of Achilles tendon injuries and other common health complaints. It also can be safer and involve a shorter recovery period than going through traditional invasive bone and joint surgery.

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