Shockwave Therapy- All you need to know

Blogs, / By Koh Peh Chia

In Elevate Physiotherapy, we are one of the few private physiotherapy clinics that provide shockwave therapy to help your pain at a competitive rate. In this article, we would like to share more about it.

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy is also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) or Radial Shockwave Therapy (RSWT). It targets specific pain in the bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It’s also a non-invasive treatment that can treat and show significant pain relief to most of our patients.  Shockwave therapy is also effective on stubborn conditions when other conservative treatments have not shown any significant improvement.

What condition can be treated by shockwave therapy?

Most commonly, shockwave therapy is used to help the patient with the following conditions:

  • Heel spurs
  • Achilles tendinopathy  
  • Plantar fasciitis 
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfers elbow 
  • Patellofemoral syndrome 
  • Iliotibial band Syndrome and etc

How does Shockwave Therapy work?

Shockwave therapy uses low energy sound for pain relief. The shockwaves can be penetrated directly onto the skin that covers the affected area. It can help to break down the thick, fibrous tissue, improve mobility and discomfort and stimulate blood flow to the area. It can also cause a small amount of localized inflammation. In the days after treatment, the body will naturally heal this inflammation, and stimulate the repair and regeneration of the soft tissues.

What should I expect during the treatment?

In Elevate Physiotherapy we will assess you prior to the treatment. We set the machine to the right intensity for you and apply ultrasound gel to the affected area to help transmit energy into the tissues. The shock energy is then transmitted into the treated area while the applicator is moved in small circular motions.

Is it painful?

You might feel unpleasant or a little pain or discomfort in the treatment area during the procedure. Most patients say it feels like small pulses against the skin. Each session will only last a few minutes, some of the patients are able to tolerate the levels of discomfort caused by the machine.

What happens after the treatment?

After the session, you may experience swelling and redness in the treated area. This may make your pain feel worse, but this also indicates that the healing process has begun. Therefore, it is completely normal and will subside within a couple of days. Most patients require 1-2 sessions a week for a couple of weeks before significant pain relief is noticed. Some conditions may require more sessions, you should consult your physiotherapist to get a better understanding and results.

last but not least, if you have any more questions or would like our physiotherapists to assess or treat your problem, feel free to drop us a question or talk to us. Do check out our Instagram page too.


A keen sportsperson, she has developed a natural interest in the injuries that come from sports. While working in Singapore, she then gained valuable experiences treating professional dancers and gymnastics athletes of Singapore. While practicing in private practice, her interest in pre and post-natal physiotherapy was piqued as she finds women having difficulties maintaining an active lifestyle pre and post-childbirth. She then pursued a STOTT Rehab Pilates Instructor certification in order to help with this group and women and also highlight her belief that prevention is a better way to handle injuries.