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Shockwave Therapy in Physiotherapy

Shockwave therapy is a wave of energy penetrated into the body using a medical device. The shockwave will stimulate cells to regenerate creating new cells that will begin the healing process. This would take much longer without medical assistance.


With this stimulated process, the duration of pain is decreased. The intensity of pain is decreased as the patient begins to heal. This form of therapy has the ability to break up fibroids and create new blood vessels with a decision on the intensity of pulses and duration of pulses.

Physiotherapists use medical equipment to administer this form of treatment. There is an identification of the troubled area, a lubricant is applied to that area, and finally, the device is applied to the area releasing energy waves into the body through the skin. The intensity of pulses decides if it is focal or radial. These two forms of application are based on depth and measure of area.

When using surgery there is the breaking of skin, injection of medicine where anaesthesia is one of them, and the removal of bone or tissue to correct the injury. There is no removal of bone or tissue. This therapy uses an injured location to bring the patient back to optimum health. With this method, the patient has a greater opportunity of strengthening the injured tissue and bone without the worry of recurring damage.

Two Aspects of Therapy Shockwave

Focal shockwave therapy is as it implies. The energy is directed to a specific location within the body. The damaged area is the focal point. This direct energy goes directly to the cell level stimulation regeneration and oxygenation which will speed up recovery. The speed of recovery reduces the time spent enduring pain from the injury. Inflammation from the injury is quickly reduced and the pain it entails goes with it.

Therapy with radial shockwave does not go as deep as the cell level. The radial shockwave does cover a larger area for repair. The wave will reach the tissue level only. It is here where the tendon and bone are treated. Old wounds can be retreated by removing scars and calcification from the bone and begin a healing of the tendon to strengthen and form around the retreated bone.

Clinical studies have shown this form of therapy to relieve pain in shoulder injury while decalcifying the injured bone to promote healing that will remove chronic pain in the long run. Source: Coll Anthropol, 2011 Sep, 35 Suppl 2:221-5.

Elimination or Reduction of Pain Medication

The medicinal aspect of therapy shockwave is conclusive with either form of shockwave treatment offering an alternative to surgery or pain medication. Although all medical solutions will have an effect on the body, shockwave does not include any form of medication. A patient will not be administered anaesthesia when receiving shockwave therapy. This form of therapy decreases the intensity of pain for its patient thus little or no pain medication is necessary.

HelloPhysio’s founding physiotherapist, Jenny Huang, received a masters in physical therapy from the University of Texas of graduating magna cum laude. With more than 20 years of practice experience, she strives to provide the highest model of patient care and specialises in treating injuries and sports rehabilitation. As a podium-placing ultra, marathon and duathlete, she is an brand ambassador of New Balance, Garmin, Jabra, Gatorade, Compressport, EloWater and Theragun. She is a member of the Singapore Physiotherapy Association.


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