Shockwave Therapy

Flex physio is delighted to now be able to offer Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) at our clinic in Burgess Hill, West Sussex.

Shockwave has been shown to improve clinical outcomes in many upper and lower limb tendon disorders providing rapid pain relief and return to function.

What is shockwave therapy?

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is an innovative, cost effective, evidence based treatment for tendon pain as well as other musculoskeletal problems around the body. Extracorporeal means outside of the body.

The main benefits of shockwave is pain relief and restoration of the function of tendon tissue. Shockwave therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for a range of common tendon complaints including plantar fasciitis (fasciopathy), Achilles tendinopathy and tennis elbow.

Shockwave therapy is a safe and non-invasive. It is a valuable tool which we can now integrate into other physiotherapy approaches such as soft tissue techniques and exercise based rehabilitation. A large body of research evidence including multiple, randomised, double-blinded clinical trials is now increasingly showing shockwave therapy to be an extremely effective treatment intervention.

Indeed, the use shockwave therapy for tendon pathology is supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) who produce stringent evidence based guidance. Specifically, NICE have produced guidelines for the use of shockwave in the treatment of Achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciopathy and calcific tendinopathy.

What conditions can Shockwave Treat?

Shockwave Therapy is an extremely useful and cost effective intervention for the following conditions (amongst others):

  • ● Plantar fasciitis (fasciopathy)
  • ● Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • ● Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
  • ● Tendinopathy around the shoulder
  • ● Patella Tendinopathy
  • ● Achilles tendinopathy
  • ● Gluteal tendinopathy / Trochanteric bursitis

How does shockwave therapy work?

Shockwave therapy uses a special machine to deliver acoustic energy through the skin to the target tissue. The energy is mechanical and not electric. These soundwaves have a desenitising effect on nerve endings helping in the reduction of pain. More importantly, the acoustic energy causes micro-trauma to the tissues. This activates and accelerates the body’s healing response. As the tissue repairs, new blood vessels form (a process known as angiogenesis) causing increased blood flow and metabolism at the target tissue promoting recovery. The shockwaves can promote reorganisation of ‘scarred’ tissue and the ‘break down’ of calcification.

How is Shockwave treatment performed?

Your shockwave treatment will be carried out by one of our highly specialised physiotherapists. They have extensive experience of tendinopathy and have received specialist training in shockwave.

Shockwave treatment typically last less than 10 minutes, during which time approximately 2500-3000 shocks will be administered to the injured tissue. Research recommendations are that typically 3-6 sessions of treatment are required.

Some discomfort is to be expected during the treatment as shockwave therapy works by causing micro-trauma to the tissues. Most patients tolerate this extremely well. It is normal to experience temporary soreness and tenderness in the area for a few hours after treatment. Typically we do not recommend the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs eg ibruprofen after treatment as we actually wish to encourage a mild inflammatory response. Discomfort rarely lasts more than 24 hours.

Apart from mild discomfort for a short time after treatment, shockwave is a non-invasive, safe treatment with very few side effects.

For best results, shockwave is combined with other physiotherapy approaches such as stretches, soft tissue techniques and exercise based mobilisation.


Treatment costs £100/session with most conditions successfully treated within 3 sessions. If you are insured, it is worth asking your insurer if they will cover shockwave treatment as an increasing number of insurers are covering this treatment due to its strong evidence base.

Treatments take place at our Burgess Hill clinic in West Sussex. Please contact us with any questions on 07421 017684 or email

Ready To book?

All appointments can be easily booked online but if you would prefer to discuss your needs prior to booking we can also take bookings over the telephone - To make an appointment please call 07421 017684.