Achilles tendinopathy is a common injury, particularly common among athletes and sports enthusiasts. Research shows that runners account for 6–18% of all injuries related to Achilles tendon disorders. This condition affects individuals aged 30 to 60, including runners and various athletes. Pain is typically most pronounced following physical activity and upon waking up in the morning.

Understanding Achilles Tendinopathy

Let’s start by understanding what Achilles tendinopathy is before we explore how shockwave therapy can help. The Achilles tendon is a large and strong band of tissue located at the back of your ankle. This condition happens when the Achilles tendon, which is a strong cord connecting the muscles in our calf to the heel bone, experiences a lot of stress or strain. There are two types of Achilles tendinopathy: Insertional and non-insertional. In the insertional type, pain is felt where the tendon connects to the heel bone, while the non-insertional type involves the gradual deterioration of the tendon itself. Regardless of the type, the result is the same: Persistent pain that makes it hard to move around and enjoy physical activities.

Traditional Approaches and Their Limitations

When confronted with Achilles tendinopathy, individuals often turn to conservative treatments like rest, anti-inflammatory medications, heel lifts, physical therapy or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. While these approaches work for many, there’s a subset of patients who find these treatments inadequate. In these cases, the need for an effective solution becomes essential.

Shockwave Therapy for Achilles Tendinopathy

Shockwave therapy utilizes high or low-energy sound waves applied to the affected region. This non-invasive procedure delivers shockwaves to the wider affected area, promoting healing and reducing pain. The underlying principle involves stimulating the body’s natural healing mechanisms, including angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) and the release of growth factors.

When treating Achilles tendinopathy, low-energy shockwaves are directed precisely at the site of Achilles tendinopathy. The shockwaves generate pressure disturbances that penetrate tissues, triggering cellular responses that aid in tissue repair. This therapeutic approach is rooted in science and has demonstrated success in treating other conditions, such as lateral epicondylitis and plantar fasciitis.

Exploring Evidence: Research Insights

Various studies have examined the outcomes of shockwave treatments for both insertional and non-insertional tendinopathies. In a systematic review published in Foot & Ankle International, the effectiveness of shockwaves for chronic Achilles tendinopathies was investigated. The review found that using gentle, low-energy shockwaves could help with both types of Achilles tendinopathies. The authors emphasized that shockwaves could be a viable alternative to surgery, particularly when other traditional treatments have failed.


The Achilles tendon plays a crucial role in leg movements such as walking, running and jumping. Tendinopathy can significantly restrict these activities, affecting daily life and physical routines. Shockwave therapy effectively treats Achilles tendinopathy and actively contributes to restoring an active, pain-free lifestyle.

The STORZ Machine by Shockwave Canada

Shockwave Canada’s STORZ machine stands out as the best in the market when it comes to Achilles tendinopathy. The STORZ machines deliver precise, controlled shockwaves tailored to the patient’s needs. With its user-friendly interface and versatility, medical professionals can provide effective and customized treatments to their patients.