Study: Shockwave Therapy Effective For Shoulder Pain

30 Jan, 2018 | Dr. Malik | No Comments

Study: Shockwave Therapy Effective For Shoulder Pain

Summary: In this study Shockwave Therapy resulted in a high success rate with low number of recurrences for shoulder pain

Individualised radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy (rESWT) for symptomatic calcific shoulder tendinopathy: a retrospective clinical study

  • Nikolaos Malliaropoulos,
  • Dawn ThompsonEmail authorView ORCID ID profile,
  • Maria Meke,
  • Debasish Pyne,
  • Dimosthenis Alaseirlis,
  • Henry Atkinson,
  • Vasileios Korakakis and
  • Heinz Lohrer
BMC Musculoskeletal DisordersBMC series – open, inclusive and trusted201718:513

Received: 1 May 2017

Accepted: 24 November 2017

Published: 6 December 2017



A retrospective single centre cohort analysis was performed to evaluate an individualised radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy (rESWT) protocol for treatment of symptomatic calcific shoulder tendinopathy.


67 patients (79 Shoulders) were identified with 76 shoulders included for analysis. rESWT treatment protocol was adapted according to individual response to treatment. Variables included number of sessions, shockwave impulses, pressure and frequency. Success rate was estimated as the percentage of patients having ≥60% visual analogue score (VAS) pain decrease at follow-up. Recurrence at 1 year was recorded.


Using this individualised symptom guided protocol, patients underwent a mean of 7 ± 1.5 rESWT sessions, with mean pressure of 1.7 ± 0.2 bar, mean frequency of 5 ± 0.3 Hz and 2175 ± 266 impulses. The mean pre-treatment VAS score of 6.7 ± 1.1 was significantly decreased to 3.2 ± 0.8 immediately post-treatment, 2.6 ± 0.9 at 1 month, 1.7 ± 1.0 at 3 months and 0.8 ± 1.0 at 1 year follow up (α = 0.05). One-year success rate was estimated at 92% and 1-year recurrence rate was 7%.


We conclude that in this retrospective study an individualised rESWT protocol resulted in a high success rate with low number of recurrences. Randomised controlled trials to support these findings are recommended.

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