Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT)

If you’re living with soft tissue damage in your shoulder, lower leg, foot or ankle, private shockwave therapy may help relieve pain and other symptoms.

What is shockwave therapy?

Also known as Extracorporeal Shockwave Treatments or ESWT, shockwave therapy treatment uses a special device to pass short impulses of energy through the skin to your injury, regenerating blood vessels and speeding up the healing process.

I have a question about shockwave therapy

Why would I have shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy is beneficial if you have painful muscles, tendons and ligaments, joint and bone conditions such as plantar fasciitis, shoulder pain and tennis elbow. It can also help if you have a sports or overuse injury.

Am I suitable for shockwave therapy?

Most people can have shockwave therapy. However, there are some exceptions:

  • If you are, or you suspect you are, pregnant
  • If you have a blood clotting disorder
  • If you’ve had a steroid injection within the last six weeks
  • If you’ve had a pacemaker fitted
  • If you have a tumour at the site of the shockwave therapy

What happens during private shockwave therapy?

Your Consultant, Podiatrist or Physiotherapist will put ultrasound gel on the injured area, then place the handpiece of the device on the gel. The handpiece sends compressed air pulses through the ultrasound gel. While shockwave therapy is minimally invasive, it may be a little noisy and uncomfortable, like a hard massage.

Each session will take about five minutes, with your treatment of up to six sessions lasting around 30 minutes. Your will then be advised if  you need to come back to repeat the treatment.

What should I expect after shockwave therapy?

Shockwave therapy is carried out on an outpatient basis, so you’ll be able to get up and walk away straight after your treatment.

If you feel any discomfort after the treatment, you can take over-the-counter painkillers (such as paracetamol) but don’t take anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) or ice therapy, as these can interfere with your body’s healing process in response to the shockwave therapy.

You’ll be able to return to most of your usual activities straight away and can return to work immediately. However, we'd advise you not to undertake any strenuous activity or high-impact exercise for 48 hours following the treatment. It’s also important that you continue with the exercises provided by your Physiotherapist.

Is shockwave therapy effective?

Yes, the majority of patients who use this treatment have seen good results. In clinical studies about 91% of patients reported successful results, including a decrease in chronic pain, increase in mobility, and other health improvements.

Is shockwave therapy painful?

You may feel some discomfort during the treatment, depending on the level of pain you’re already experiencing in the area. However, as the treatment only last about five minutes, most people can tolerate this discomfort.

What are the side effects of shockwave therapy?

There are limited side effects from having shockwave therapy, these include:

  • Mild bruising
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling in the treated area

What’s the difference between ultrasound and shockwave therapy?

Ultrasound technology makes use of a consistent pattern of waves, with a short amount of time between each. On the other hand, shockwave therapy makes use of a single pressure pulse, usually in an isolated location on your body.

How much does private shockwave therapy cost?

The cost of self-pay shockwave treatment is listed in the physiotherapy and podiatry section of our treatment prices page. You can book your shockwave therapy in Kent by completing our online booking form or by calling our Private Patient Team on 01580 363158.

Sports injury care at Benenden Hospital

Sports injury care

Whether you're an amateur or a professional athlete, sports injuries can be a frustrating and painful part of participating in physical activity.

That's why we offer a wide range of self-pay treatment options - so you can get back to taking part in the sports you love.

Our Consultants and Physiotherapists

Mr Stapleton

Liam Stapleton

Sports Medicine Podiatrist

Mr Stapleton's specialties include minor surgical procedures, sports injuries, MSK podiatry and Ultrasound imaging.

Mr Jordan Dehara

Jordan Dehara

Physiotherapy Lead

Jordan's interests include sports medicine, shoulder injuries, lower back pain and other chronic conditions.

Malgorzata Mauriange

Malgorzata Mauriange

Senior Physiotherapist

Malgorzata's interests are in orthopaedics and neurology.

Mr Louis Wicking

Louis Wicking

Senior Physiotherapist

Louis's interests include rehab for sporting injuries and preoperative and postoperative rehabilitation.

Mr Bart Albrycht

Bart Albrycht

Senior Physiotherapist

Bart works as Inpatient Senior Physiotherapist based on Bensan Ward providing Physiotherapy for our elective patients.

Book shockwave therapy for foot, ankle or lower leg

It's easy to book online or by giving us a call.