Shock Wave Therapy | Podiatry | ACE Feet in Motion

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy


    Here at ACE we see a number of patients with a variety of conditions. These conditions can be acute (recent) or chronic (long lasting) in nature and we have always specialized in gait analysis to get to the bottom of what might be causing these issues.

    We have always used orthotic therapy and loading programs to facilitate/encourage a healing mechanism, however chronic conditions can be a little bit stubborn to shift. As a team we are always looking at new technology that will allow us to encourage a quicker recovery time and after much research we found Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT). The evidence based research and the results this service are achieving are phenomenal.


    What is Shockwave

    What is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy

    Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is the application of Shock Waves in medicine. This is used on chronic tendon pain and is clinically proven to :

    • Reduce pain felt by the nerve fibers
    • Increase circulation of blood into the surrounding soft tissues
    • Begin the healing process triggered by stem cell activation.

    So if you are suffering with a stubborn chronic injury ESWT can actually reduce pain, get blood into the tissue and start a healing process. So basically this treatment triggers the recovery process for a tissue that isn’t healing.

    What creates the Shock Wave

    The hand held piece of the kit has a small projectile  that shoots back and forth within a cavity hitting a fixed applicator. The kinetic energy is converted into shock wave that is delivered to the target through the skin.

    Is Shock Wave right for me?

    Here at ACE we specialize in treating lower limb conditions. Shock wave is perfect for you if you have been suffering with pain for longer than 6 months. The areas in which we treat with ESWT are:

    Plantar Fasciitis:

    This is a condition that effects 1 in 10 of us during our lifetime. Most people experience pain on the inside of the heel but it can radiate up into the arch of the foot. Pain is often worse in the morning or after periods of rest. If you have been suffering with pain for longer than 6 months then get in touch.

    Achilles Tendinopathy:

    The Achilles tendon is the combination of tendons of the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles and connects these muscles to the back of the heel. We are able to apply shock wave to the insertional point and mid-portion of the Achilles tendon.


    What can I expect at my appointment?

    At the initial appointment one of our experienced Podiatrists will assess and diagnose the cause of your pain. If this condition is something that responds well to treatment with ESWT then this will be discussed and a treatment plan drawn out. This usually includes loading and stretching programs and possible intervention of an orthoses.

    If shockwave is suitable for you we will mark the area in which the treatment will be performed. We will also apply gel to the area to improve contact between your skin and the device. Once the treatment has begun you will be aware of a strange sensation which can be uncomfortable to start with. This then eases as the treatment continues. A shockwave session can last between 5-10 minutes per area treated and an immediate response is noted. This response is short term as it usually takes between 3-6 sessions for the treatment to be successful. 

    How many treatments will I need?

    This will vary between patients and how long the injury has presented for. The evidence suggests that at least 3 treatments will be needed. However some people will need up to 6 treatments for resolution of the problem.

    How much does it cost?

    The first 4 treatments are sold as a package and will cost £250. Further treatments can be purchased individually. 

    If further treatments are needed the price will be discussed during your treatment plan.


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    Evidence behind Shock Wave

    Plantar Fasciitis:

    Gerdesmeyer L, Frey C, Vester J, et al.

    Radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy is safe and effective in the treatment of chronic recalcitrant plantar fasciitis: results of a confirmatory randomized placebo-controlled multicenter study. Am J Sports Med 2008;36:2100-2109

    Click here to read about this research

    Ibrahim M, Donatelli R, Schmitz C, et al.

    Successful treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis with two sessions of radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy. Foot & Ankle Int. 2010 May; 31 (5):391-97 20460065

    Click here to read about this research

    Achilles Tendinopathy:

    Rompe JD, Nafe B, Furia JP, Maffulli N

    Eccentric loading, shock-wave treatment, or a wait-and-see policy for tendinopathy of the main body of tendo Achillis: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Sports Med 2007;35:374-383

    Click here to read about this research

    Rompe JD, Furia JP, Maffulli N

    Eccentric loading, compared with shock wave treatment for chronic insertional Achilles tendinopathy: A randomized controlled trial. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2008;90:52-61

    Click here to read about this research

    Rompe JD, Furia JP, Maffulli N

    Eccentric loading, versus eccentric loading plus shock-wave treatment for midportion Achilles tendinopathy: A randomized controlled trial. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2009;37:463-470

    Click here to read about this research