Clinical application of shock wave therapy (SWT) in musculoskeletal disorders

Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2014 Apr;50(2):217-30. Epub 2014 Mar 26.

Abstract

Currently the application of shock wave therapy (SWT) in musculoskeletal disorders has been primarily used in the treatment of tendinopathies (proximal plantar fasciopathy, lateral elbow tendinopathy, calcific tendinopathy of the shoulder, and patellar tendinopathy, etc.) and bone defects (delayed- and non-union of bone fractures, avascular necrosis of femoral head, etc.). Although the mechanism of their therapeutic effects are still unknown, the majority of published papers have shown positive and beneficial effects of using SWT as a treatment for musculoskeletal disorders, with a success rate ranging from 65% to 91%, while the complications are low or negligible. The purpose of this paper is to inform the reader about the published data on the clinical application of SWT in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. In this paper, with the help of a literature review, indications and success rates for SWT in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders are outlined, while adequate SWT parameters (e.g., rate of impulses, energy flux density, etc.) are defined according to the present state of knowledge.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • High-Energy Shock Waves / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*