Calcific tendinopathy is a common shoulder disease wherein calcium particles are deposited in one or more tendons of the rotator cuff. Its etiology is unknown and a matter of debate. Researchers have hypothesized repetitive microtrauma, tenocyte necrosis, reactive and endochondral ossification, and degeneration.

Calcific tendinopathy has been reported in 2.5 to 7.5 per cent of healthy shoulders in adults, approximately 70 per cent of which were women, especially over the age of 40. It can cause severe pain, impacting range of motion and even sleep.

Treatments for calcific tendinopathy usually include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Rest
  • Heat and/or ice
  • Physical therapy
  • A steroid shot directly into your shoulder

Arthroscopic surgery can also be used in severe cases to remove deposits.

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy has been clinically proven to effectively treat calcific tendinopathy.

Using acoustic sound waves, shockwave therapy enhances metabolism and circulation in affected areas, stimulating the cells responsible for healing tissue and bone. And because it’s non-invasive and drug-free, shockwave therapy is ideal for patients with calcific tendinopathy who haven’t responded to conservative treatment and aren’t ready for surgery.

Clinical Research

A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science analyzed the effect of shockwave therapy on patients with calcific tendinopathy. A total of 34 patients were randomly divided into two groups. One group received shockwave therapy while the second acted as the control group.

Researchers used the Constant-Murley scale to evaluate shoulder joint function and noted significant differences between the groups at the two-, six-, and 12-week follow-ups. They concluded shockwave therapy was an effective treatment method to improve patients’ shoulder function.

Another study examined the efficacy of combining shockwave therapy with physiotherapy and ultrasound-guided drilling for calcific tendinopathy of the supraspinatus. Sixty-six patients with 68 impacted shoulders were initially treated with needle drilling using xylocaine to target the calcific deposits. Afterwards, patients followed a physiotherapy protocol with shockwave therapy for just one month.

Researchers used the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) score to measure pain before and after therapy. VAS scores improved from 8.1 to 3.3 and DASH from 27 to five. Radiology showed that all but one calcific deposit had disappeared.

Shockwave Therapy for Calcific Tendinopathy

Shockwave therapy can be used for many common tendinopathies around the hip, knee, shoulder, elbow, heel, and bottom of the feet. Healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, chiropractors, and more can use Storz Medical devices available exclusively from Shockwave Canada to treat these indications. Our shockwave technology will help expand the scope of your practice, making you more competitive.

To learn more about integrating shockwave therapy into your practice, call 1 (888) 741-SHOC(7462) or visit our website.