Studies have shown that shockwave therapy has positive effects on soft tissue injuries. Before the painful-sounding name turns you away from trying this technique, the clinical professionals at Mississauga Health & Wellness Center have created a comprehensive guide with everything you need to know about shockwave therapy.

Continue reading to find out what is shockwave therapy, the areas of application, the process, how it works, who should consider it, safety and side effects, and what about shockwave therapy makes this treatment effective for aches and injuries.

Understanding Shockwave Therapy

Dealing with a sports injury such as a pulled hamstring, tennis elbow, or golfer’s elbow, or an ache that just won’t mend such as plantar fasciitis, is a frustrating feeling. Shockwave physiotherapy can assist in aiding those who struggle with these aches and injuries and experience pain in their soft tissues.

The shockwave effect jump-starts a body’s ability to regenerate new tissue, providing some much-needed help during the healing process. By directly stimulating your nerves at the core of the injury, shockwave therapy also helps decrease pain.

There are two types of shockwave therapy: focused shockwave therapy, which targets a small area, and radial shockwave therapy, which covers a broader area, both of which patients typically receive. Though the name can sound daunting and painful, it’s only mildly uncomfortable for most people, and side effects and risks are extremely minimal as long as your doctor or trained physician has prescribed this treatment.


Shockwave Therapy Benefits

Shockwave therapy is increasingly becoming a more popular tool used by sports physicians and athletic trainers because of the following benefits it offers for patients:

Increases circulation around injured soft tissues.
Breaks down calcified deposits, like kidney stones for example.
Stimulates cells that generate connective and new bone tissue.
Reduces pain in the affected area by overstimulating nerve endings.

Areas of Application

If your tendinopathy or other sports-related injury is causing you pain and you are looking to aid in the recovery process, shockwave therapy may be right for you. Shockwave therapy can be applied to the following parts of the body in pain: elbow, foot, knee, leg, hip, and shoulder. Subsequently, the injuries that shockwave therapy can treat associated to these areas include:

Achilles’ tendinopathies and plantar fasciitis
Tennis elbow and Little League elbow
Patella tendinopathy (jumper’s knee)
Hamstring injuries
Lateral hip pain with gluteal tendinopathies and rectus femoris
Rotator cuff injuries

physician standing with to-do list

Process of Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is part sports medicine, and part injury prevention. Thus, a sports medicine physician or an athletic trainer will take the appropriate time to fully grasp and understand the underlying source of each patient’s injury. This preliminary diagnostic is so that they can recommend if shockwave therapy is the best solution for you, and if it is, how to further treat your injury by combining it with other therapists including platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections and physical therapy.

Once the patient goes through shockwave therapy, their physician or athletic trainer will work closely with them in the session as well as schedule follow-ups to ensure they are comfortable every step of the way. The reoccurring visits are also important to record how effective shockwave therapy is in helping them recover and heal. Shockwave therapy aims for the patient to return to sport or other activities stronger and less prone to injury. Athletic trainers will analyze and correct patient’s movement patterns to help them build strength in key areas to reduce their risk of future injuries. If an injury does not improve with shockwave therapy, then the physicians will often suggest another form of treatment.

How it Works

Shockwave treatments work when a shockwave device is placed next to the skin by a clinician, and either high-energy or low-energy pulses are sent to the area with injured tissues. This shock effect promotes new tissue growth by stimulating increased blood flow and growth hormones to the area.

A sports medicine physician or an athletic trainer with a physician’s supervision typically administers shockwave therapy. These professions have extensive knowledge and years of practice studying in the anatomy of tendons, joints, ligaments, and common patterns of sports injury.

shockwave treatment in Mississauga
Mental Health Therapy

Is Shockwave Therapy Right For Me?

If you are interested in shockwave therapy, it’s important to consult with your doctor before committing to this form of treatment. Despite most people never experiencing any significant shockwave therapy side effects, there are situations where using this treatment method would not be appropriate or safe.

For instance, your doctor would not consider shockwave therapy if soft issues were torn beyond or if an injury clearly needs surgery instead of non-invasive treatment. In addition, shockwave treatment should not be used close to the womb during pregnancy, on a patient with any type of bleeding disorder, on nearby tissues, or malignant tumours, or near the brain, lungs, or spine.

Safety and Side Effects

There should not be many side effects or complications after shockwave treatment. You may notice mild swelling, odd sensations, numbness, or slight bruising in the spot where you were treated, however, these effects will fade as the area heals. More severe side effects are a cause for concern so please report any abnormalities to your physician.

Shockwave therapy should not cause damage, however, there are a few cases where shockwave therapy can in fact do more harm than good. These include if a tendon or ligament is almost fully torn, the remaining tissue could tear, and if a patient has significantly low bone density, maybe they suffer from osteoporosis, a stress fracture could occur. It is important that you were prescribed shockwave therapy by a licensed professional and a qualified clinician is the only one assessing your injury and health before treatment begins.

leg stretching exercise


Whether you are looking for shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis or extracorporeal shock wave therapy, consult with your doctor or trained physician before choosing this method to treat your aches and injuries. The licensed professionals at Mississauga Wellness Center are certified physicians to treat your tendinopathy or other soft tissue injuries.

Contact us to learn more and book an appointment today to experience shockwave therapy or another form of treatment to relieve your pain and lead you to a better life of health and wellness.