There are an increasing number of conditions recognised by the UK’s medical treatment governing body ‘NICE’ as suitable for Shockwave treatment. Though not the only conditions you may find Shockwave helps with, a published NICE guideline is a driver for many doctors and practitioners to feel comfortable about recommending it, as it is safe and effective. We currently have 5 of these evidence-based conditions recognised by NICE with guidelines in place. These are:

• Achilles Tendinopathies

• Tennis Elbow

• Plantar Fasciopathy

• Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (GTPS)

• Shoulder Tendinopathies.


These have different research backgrounds and some of the conditions were acknowledged back in 2005, but all have reached the same evidence based criteria for the guideline to be issued and with more research, comes the potential for more guidelines. As the benefits of Shockwave are documented by other bodies more medical professionals are using the technology for conditions without NICE guidelines. Conditions including Osteoarthritis, trigger point pain syndromes or muscle hyper sensitivity/hyper irritability (technically known as Myofascial Pain Syndrome) are all now treatable with Shockwave leading to an increase in use and awareness. 

Shockwave is most effective with chronic soft tissue injuries, however, it can be used to treat as soon as the inflammatory stage settles, usually two weeks. 

The treatment is slightly uncomfortable during treatment, however, this is short lived. You are in control during treatment and your therapist will constantly liaise with you to make the treatment as comfortable as possible.

Shockwave is generally a safe procedue with no reports of any serious adverse reactions, however, there may be a few transient side effects. Many of the patients never experience any of these side effects, which include:

  • local skin reddening

  • temporary numbness

  • pain/mild discomfort

  • swelling

  • heamotoma

  • petechiae (red spots)

  • migraine (with upper limb treatment)

  • very rare - tendon rupture (with degenerative tendonopathies)

  • Your therapist will discuss these with you and inform you on how best to minimise these reactions.

There are some people who are inappropriate for Shockwave Therapy. These include but aren't limited to:

  • Those on anti-coagulant therapy

  • Bleeding Disorders

  • Metal Implants

  • Systematic Infection of joints

  • Recent Steriod Injection (about 6 weeks)

Your therapist wil perform a detailed assesment to ensure Shockwave Therapy is appropriate and safe to use.