What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave Therapy (SWT) or radial Shockwave Therapy is the propagation of acoustic waves to functionally stimulate increased blood flow and increased metabolic activity in a cell.  Thousands of medical research studies have shown shockwave therapy to be between 80-90% effective at treating stubborn chronic conditions such as those listed below.

Common Conditions treated by Shockwave Therapy

  • Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs
  • Achilles tendonitis and calcific Achilles tendinosis
  • Patellar tendonitis (Jumpers Knee)
  • Shin Splints
  • Stress fractures
  • Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow
  • Greater Trochanteric pain syndrome/Bursitis (hip)
  • Hamstring Tendinopathy
  • Frozen Shoulder/Adhesive Capsulitis
  • Calcific Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
  • Hallux Rigidus
  • Myofascial Trigger Points
  • Scar tissue build up

The Research

Evidence supporting SWT has been published in numerous reputable medical journals. These studies have demonstrated SWT to be clinically superior when compared to other traditional conservative therapies used by other physiotherapists and chiropractors, and when compared to corticosteroid injections and surgical outcomes. Many patients who try SWT report symptomatic relief, increased mobility, return to activity, and improved quality of life where other forms of therapy have failed. Due to vast number of studies, all with convincingly superior results, shockwave therapy is now known as the gold standard in the treatment of chronic soft tissue disorders.

The Discovery

Over 20 years ago, therapeutic shockwaves were introduced as a medical treatment for eliminating kidney stones without causing skin injury. Some side effects discovered while using this treatment, were the bone healing and accelerated tissue healing results on the areas submitted to shockwave treatment. Today SWT is used on a number of musculoskeletal conditions that are normally very difficult to treat with very few negative side effects.

The Technology

Shockwave therapy utilizes high pressure waves of compressed air to mechanically break up calcification and scar tissue that forms on the body’s tissues when placed under repetitive stress. The technology was founded over 20 years ago for the treatment of kidney stones.  The shockwave device accelerates a projectile by compressed air. The motion and weight of the projectile produce kinetic energy, which translates along with the transmitter into sound energy in the form of an acoustic or sound wave. The acoustic wave is transmitted into the tissue via a coupling gel and collectively this is known as “Radial Pressure Wave Therapy”. The propagation of acoustic waves break apart the underlying problematic scar tissue, stimulates osteoblast (cells that re-organize bone) and fibroblast (cells that re-organize soft tissue such as tendons and ligaments) activity in and around the injured site.

What to expect

A chiropractor or physiotherapist will perform a thorough exam in order to determine if Shockwave Therapy is the best approach. Your health care practitioner will recommend a treatment plan that best fits your individual needs. Shockwave therapy is typically administered 3-6 times 5-10 days apart. Treatment times range between 10 minutes and 30 minutes. Adjunctive treatment methods such rehabilitative therapy or manual therapies may be recommended.

Maritime Chiropractic & Wellness is one of few in Nova Scotia to offer Shockwave Therapy. If you would like to find out if you are a good candidate for Shockwave Therapy, call 902.492.2102 or email  An amazing team of health care professionals at Maritime Chiropractic & Wellness are waiting to provide you with the most innovative health care services Halifax has to offer.