Effectiveness and Safety of Shockwave Therapy in Tendinopathies

Mater Sociomed. 2018 Jun;30(2):131-146. doi: 10.5455/msm.2018.30.141-146.


Introduction: People suffering from tendinopathies exhibit reduced mobility due to the pain caused by the movement of the tendons involved. Recently, shockwave therapy has been used as a treatment option, which is non-invasive, simpler, faster and safer.

Aims: To record the intensity of the pain, the functionality of the upper and lower limbs and quality of life before treatment with shock waves, immediately after the treatment and the 4-week follow-up.

Methodology: The sample consisted of 384 patients, suffering from a tendinopathy. 326 patients constituted the shockwave intervention groups and 58 patients made up the control groups. The researchers created a self-administered questionnaire (University of Peloponnese Pain, Functionality and Quality of Life Questionnaire) in which the intensity of pain, functionality and quality of life were evaluated on a five-point Likert scale, before, immediately after the treatment and at a 4-week follow-up.

Results: The pain reduction and the improvement of functionality and quality of life after shockwave treatment increased by at least two points on the five-point Likert scale both post-treatment (p<0,001) and at a 4-week follow-up (p<0,001) compared to post-treatment in elbow tendinopathy, Achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis and rotator cuff tendinopathy.

Conclusions: Shockwave therapy significantly reduced the pain that accompanies tendinopathies and improves functionality and quality of life. It might be first choice because of its effectiveness and safety.

Keywords: musculoskeletal injuries; rehabilitation; shockwave therapy; tendinopathy; tendon injuries.