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Shockwave Therapy for Knee Pain

Knee OA is a common joint disease that affects many people globally. It is characterized by cartilage degradation in the knee joints. This breakdown leads to pain, stiffness, and reduced function.

Knee pain can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. It makes carrying out daily duties and participating in physical activities difficult.

Pain medications and therapy can help with knee OA, but only briefly. However, they frequently fail to address the disease’s fundamental cause.

As a result, there is a growing need for innovative and effective treatments. Treatment that lessens pain and enhances long-term healing and function.

Shockwave therapy emerges as a safe and non-surgical treatment for knee pain. This treatment uses strong shockwaves to help tissues heal and improve blood supply to the affected knee. As a result, a person experiences pain relief and improved mobility.

Understanding Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy uses high-energy shockwaves, either focused or radial, on the affected area. Shockwaves boost healing by increasing blood flow, forming new blood vessels, and stimulating growth factor production.

Different Types of ESWT: Focused (f-ESWT) and Radial (r-ESWT)

Benefits of Shockwave Therapy for knee pain
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) has two main types: focused and radial.
  1. Focused ESWT delivers shockwaves directly to the targeted area. This therapy uses a focused applicator to concentrate the energy on the injured or painful site. It allows for precise and deep treatment. It works for plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and some types of tendon inflammation.
  2. Radial ESWT spreads shockwaves over a larger area. It uses a handheld device that emits shockwaves radially. People often use it for tennis elbow, jumper’s knee, and other superficial muscle and joint problems.
ESWT is safe and effective for knee pain treatment and helps with healing.

Efficacy of ESWT in Knee Osteoarthritis


Research has compared the efficacy of f-ESWT and r-ESWT in treating knee OA.

A study with 42 patients found that both focused and radial groups had less pain after four weeks of treatment. However, the f-ESWT group experienced more significant pain relief improvements than the r-ESWT group. Also, the f-ESWT group had better results in other areas, like physical function and walking ability.

This data suggests that f-ESWT could better minimize discomfort and enhance physical function in people with knee OA.

Benefits of Shockwave Therapy for Knee Pain

Studies have shown that shockwave treatment for knee pain provides several benefits in treating knee OA. Such as

Benefits of Shockwave Therapy for knee pain

1. Reduction in Pain and Improvement in Function

ESWT reduces pain and improves function in knee osteoarthritis (OA). It stimulates healing and reduces inflammation. It gives significant pain relief and allows daily activities with less discomfort.

2. Effectiveness of Medium Energetic Density Doses

Medium energetic density doses of ESWT are very effective for knee OA. They provide enough energy to heal tissue but avoid too much discomfort. These doses significantly improve pain scores and physical function.

3. Improvement in Knee Range of Motion and Walking Tests

ESWT also improves knee range of motion and walking ability in knee OA. It increases knee mobility and improves gait. It helps patients perform daily activities and stay active.

Side Effects of Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is generally safe, with minimal reported side effects. However, some patients may experience

side effect
  • Mild discomfort
  • Bruising at the treatment site
However, these symptoms are only transitory and usually go away independently. Shockwave therapy can help with knee pain, but there may be some exceptions to its effectiveness.

Preparing for shockwave therapy includes two essential aspects:

Is shockwave therapy your perfect match?

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The Final Words

Shockwave therapy, especially f-ESWT, is a promising treatment for knee osteoarthritis. It helps reduce knee pain and improves physical function. ESWT is a treatment that can relieve knee OA by promoting tissue regrowth without surgery. Contact us today to know whether you are an ideal candidate for shockwave therapy for knee pain or not.

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Dr. Craig Eymann

Musculoskeletal Injury Specialist

Dr. Craig Eymann

Musculoskeletal Injury Specialist

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