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Focused Shockwave Therapy

What is Extracorporeal Focused Shockwave Therapy?

In the body, these high energy acoustic waves stimulate the cells and the body’s intrinsic healing mechanism. In Extracorporeal Focused Shockwave Therapy, the wave is focused through a lens and transmitted into the body, up to a depth of about 4.7”.

You may have heard of high energy Focused Shockwave (F-SW) devices that can destroy tissues like kidney stones. The F-SW used in physical therapy offer low and medium energy F-SW that are not capable of destroying any tissue but are helpful in pain therapy treatments.

The number of treatments depends on two factors:

  • The indication and how the tissue responds.Typically, 3-6 treatments are necessary with possible resolution of some symptoms being achieved by the third treatment.
  • An improvement in function and pain relief is expected after the first treatment. Bear in mind that the treatment can have an analgesic effect for several hours after treatment**

Benefits of Extracorporeal Focused Shockwave Therapy

  • Short treatment time (minutes)
  • Deep tissues can be reached
  • Precise and targeted applications
  • Results in fewer treatments
  • Non-invasive and no known significant adverse effects
  • Alternative to medication

Extracorporeal Focused Shockwave Therapy helps improve Pain and Function in chronic plantar fasciitis* (clinically proven with scientific study)

"As Evidence Based Practitioners, clinicians will find it hard to ignore the efficacy of ESWT given the quantity and quality of the research evidence. Once incorporated into patient management for MSK conditions, clinicians will find the results even more compelling."

- Cliff Eaton MSc PGc MSCP SRP Clinical Support Specialist - Chattanooga


"The Chattanooga® Focus Shockwave treats deeper conditions such as rotator cuff pains, gluteal muscles/tendons, and deep lying trigger points, with fewer standoffs than other ESWT devices. The focal zone of 30mm ensures that the targeted area is treated with precision and accuracy making it easier to find the painful spots as well as implement in everyday clinical practice."

-Jan Vinding, BSc physiotherapy, Exam OMI Clinical Support - Chattanooga


* Gollwitzer H, et al. Clinically relevant effectiveness of focused extracorporeal Shockwave therapy in the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis: a randomized, controlled multicenter study. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2015 May 6;97(9):701-8.

Lou J, Wang S, Liu S, Xing G. Effectiveness of Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy Without Local Anesthesia in Patients With Recalcitrant Plantar Fasciitis: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2017 Aug;96(8):529-534.

** Schmitz C, DePace R. Pain relief by extracorporeal shockwave therapy: an update on the current understanding. Urol Res. 2009 Aug;37(4):231-4.

Tamma R, dell'Endice S, Notarnicola A, Moretti L, Patella S, Patella V, Zallone A, Moretti B. Extracorporeal Shockwaves stimulate osteoblast activities. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2009 Dec;35(12):2093-100.


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