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Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)

Footjax now offers shock wave therapy at Optimal Therapies at Mount Royal University in Calgary!

What is ESWT?

A rapid series of high-energy pressure waves are

delivered to the injured area. This mechanical energy

creates microtrauma within the injured tissue. Simply

put, shock wave therapy stimulates a healing response.


Chronic injury is vaguely defined as being 6 weeks or longer. Chronic tendon and fascia injuries show a stagnant healing process. In fact technically these injuries should not be called Tendonitis or Fasciitis. Those terms are appropriate for acute injuries, depict inflammation, and refer to an active healing process. A more appropriate term for chronic injury to these tissues are tendonosis and fasciosis. These terms depict chronic injury, degeneration of the tissues, a lack of inflammation, and little to no sign of an active healing response.

Shock Wave Therapy stimulates healing through four main mechanisms:


  • Increasing local growth factors

  • Increasing local circulation via neovascularisation

  • Increasing and improving collagen syntheseis

  • Inducing cell proliferation and differentiation

What common types of injuries does ESWT help?


  • Plantarfasciosis

  • Achilles Tendonosis

  • Patellar Tendonosis (jumpers knee)

  • Shoulder Tendonosis and Calcific Tendonitis

  • Lateral Epicondylosis (tennis elbow)


What to expect with ESWT:


  • 1-5 treatments

  • 1 treatment per week

  • Noticeable benefit will take 1-6 weeks (full tissue healing may take up to 6 months)

  • Each session takes 5-15 minutes


Precautions and Contraindications:

  • Neuological or Vascular disease

  • Blood clotting disease or medication which interferes with blood clotting

  • Antiinflamatory medication – NSAIDS (including local cortizone injection within one month) – Tumors

  • Active growth plates

  • Pregnancy

  • Acute injury, full tissue rupture, open wounds


Why Consider ESWT:


  • Safe and non-invasive

  • No side effects

  • High efficacy rate


What is the cost of ESWT at Optimal Therapies:


  • $95 for an initial assessment and treatment

  • $60 for each subsequent treatment


Lee MacKenzie BSc Kin, C. Ped. (C), CAT(C)

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