Hi, I'm Dr. Nicole Barry, a chiropractor at Energize Health. I'm excited to share with you some remarkable insights into the world of radial shockwave therapy and its incredible benefits. As a Calgary based chiropractor dedicated to helping my patients achieve optimal health and wellness, I have been successfully using shockwave therapy in my practice for over 5 years. I have witnessed firsthand the transformative effects of shockwave therapy and, in this blog, I will provide you with an overview of this cutting-edge treatment and back up its advantages with peer-reviewed research.

What is Radial Shockwave Therapy (RST)?

Radial shockwave therapy (RST), also known as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) or simply "shockwave", is a non-invasive treatment modality that utilizes high-energy acoustic waves to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. Think of an opera singer who can break glass with their voice, or a sonic boom when a military jet flies by: these are more common examples of the power of acoustic wave. With shockwave therapy, specific frequency acoustic waves are delivered to targeted areas of the body, where they stimulate the body's natural healing processes and can help provide relief from chronic pain and discomfort.

Now, let's dive into 5 of the science-backed benefits of Radial Shockwave Therapy:


1. Shockwave Therapy for Pain Reduction:
One of the most notable benefits of shockwave is its ability to effectively reduce pain. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, [1] demonstrated that radial shockwave therapy significantly reduced pain levels in the short and long terms, in patients with chronic heel pain. By promoting the release of endorphins and reducing inflammation, shockwave helps patients experience long-lasting relief from pain.

2. Shockwave Therapy Speeds Up Healing:
Shockwave has been shown to enhance the body's natural healing mechanisms. A study in the International Journal of Surgery [2] found that radial shockwave therapy improved the healing of various soft tissue injuries by stimulating collagen production, increasing blood flow to the affected area and stimulating stem cell activities. This accelerated healing process is particularly beneficial for athletes and active individuals looking to get back to their regular routines as quickly as possible.

3. Shockwave Therapy Improves Mobility:
Individuals suffering from conditions like frozen shoulder or calcific tendinitis often experience limited joint mobility. A study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine [3] demonstrated that RST led to significant improvements in lower limb function and mobility. This makes it an excellent option for those seeking to regain full range of motion.

4. Shockwave Therapy is Non-Invasive with Minimal Side Effects:
Compared to surgical procedures, RST is non-invasive and associated with minimal side effects. Research published in the British Medical Bulletin Journal [4] has highlighted the safety and low risk associated with RST, making it a viable option for patients who wish to avoid surgery or medication.

5. Shockwave Therapy is Efficient and Effective in Resolving Symptoms:
One of the standout advantages of radial shockwave therapy is that it often requires only a minimal number of sessions to achieve a resolution of symptoms. In most cases, patients experience significant relief after just 3-5 treatments. A review published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery found that shockwave therapy can save patients thousands of dollars in comparison with alternative therapies or surgeries. This efficiency not only saves time and money but also ensures a quicker return to a pain-free and active lifestyle.

If you think you might benefit from radial shockwave therapy, click here to book a consultation. I would love to help you reduce your pain and get back to enjoying your life again.

Dr. Nicole Barry, DC


  1. : Morrissey D, et al. Br J Sports Med 2021; Management of plantar heel pain: a best practice 
    guide informed by a systematic review, expert clinical reasoning and patient values 0:1–14. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2019-101970
  2. M.C. d'Agostino, K. Craig, E. Tibalt, S. Respizzi, Shock wave as biological therapeutic tool: From mechanical stimulation to recovery and healing, through mechanotransduction,
    International Journal of Surgery, Volume 24, Part B, 2015, Pages 147-153, ISSN 1743-919
  3. Liao CD, Tsauo JY, Chen HC, Liou TH. Efficacy of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for Lower-Limb Tendinopathy: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2018 Sep;97(9):605-619. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000925. PMID: 29557811.
  4. Schroeder, Allison N. MD1; Tenforde, Adam S. MD2; Jelsing, Elena J. MD3. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy in the Management of Sports Medicine Injuries. Current Sports Medicine Reports 20(6):p 298-305, June 2021. | DOI: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000851
  5. Moya, Daniel MD; Ramón, Silvia MD, PhD; Schaden, Wolfgang MD; Wang, Ching-Jen MD; Guiloff, Leonardo MD; Cheng, Jai-Hong MD. The Role of Extracorporeal Shockwave Treatment in Musculoskeletal Disorders. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 100(3):p 251-263, February 7, 2018. | DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.17.00661

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