Tendons are fibrous, rope-like cords that connect muscles to bones. Through injury or overuse, tendons can become inflamed, causing pain and swelling. This is called tendonitis. Other symptoms include reduced range of motion, weakness, and even red warm skin, which could mean an infection.
Anyone can develop tendonitis, and it’s estimated to affect up to 5 per cent of the general population. However, it’s particularly common among athletes. Around 10 per cent of runners develop Achilles tendinopathy and roughly half of all sports injuries are tendon related.
Common conservative treatments for tendonitis include rest, ice, strengthening, stretching, and massage. For cases that don’t respond to these treatments, shockwave therapy for tendonitis has been clinically proven to improve outcomes.
Shockwave Therapy for Tendonitis
Shockwave therapy involves delivering high-energy sound waves to an affected area. These sound waves increase blood flow to the area, which stimulates cells that encourage healing. As such, shockwave therapy can treat many musculoskeletal issues with the need for drugs or surgery.
Here is some of the clinical evidence supporting the use of shockwave therapy for the three most common tendonitis indications.
- Achilles tendonitis
A study published in Foot & Ankle International measured the effectiveness of an eccentric loading program followed by stretching exercises combined with shockwave therapy to treat noninsertional Achilles tendinopathy in both the short and long term.
Researchers split a group of 50 patients into two groups. The study group received shockwave therapy while the control group received sham treatment.
While the stretching and eccentric loading exercises improved the pain and functionality of patients in the control group, researchers noted “significantly greater improvements in both the short and long term” for patients who also received shockwave therapy.
- Jumper’s knee
Jumper’s knee, or patellar tendinopathy, affects the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shin bone.
A single-centre, randomized controlled trial assessed the effectiveness of shockwave therapy on jumper’s knee. Twenty patients were divided into two groups. One received three to five sessions of shockwave therapy while the other received a sham treatment.
For the shockwave group, researchers noted significant improvement in the Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment test and for the vertical jump score.
- Tennis elbow
Also known as lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is often the result of repetitive motions of the wrist and arm, impacting the elbow’s tendons.
A systematic review and meta-analysis compared the effectiveness of shockwave therapy with other techniques in the treatment of tennis elbow. Researchers studied 13 randomized controlled trials with 1035 patients, of which 501 underwent shockwave therapy while 534 underwent other methods.
Researchers concluded that shockwave therapy effectively relieved the pain and functional impairment of tennis elbow with better overall safety than several other methods.
Get the Best Technology on the Market
If you want to leverage shockwave therapy for tendonitis, Shockwave Canada has the technology you need. We are the country’s exclusive distributor of Storz shockwave devices, the best technology in the industry. In addition to tendinopathies, shockwave therapy can also treat myofascial pain, shin splits, plantar fasciitis, and more.
Call 1-866-596-4049 or visit our website today to learn more.