RS Podiatry Clinic

Shockwave Clinic Birmingham



Radial Shockwave Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is one of the most innovative and clinically proven treatments for soft tissue injuries.

It is widely used in elite sports, Premier League clubs, Welsh Rugby Union, UK Athletics and in physiotherapy, Podiatry, sports medicine, urology and orthopaedic settings. It has both NICE guidance and FDA approval for a number of indications.

It is non-invasive and involves short, intense sound waves passed into injured tissue. This causes micro-trauma and in turn increases blood flow which stimulates an acute inflammatory response. The subsequent response accelerates the body’s own healing process allowing for faster healing.

Note: No ‘electrical shock’ is ever involved!

How successful is Shockwave Therapy treatment?
In patients suffering from plantar fasciitis and heel pain, pain reduction is remarkable. 39 studies have shown a success rate of 94% for patients with Plantar Faciitis.

The overall success rates for all indications ranges between 60% and 80% depending on the condition. Statistics show over 90 percent of patients experience a reduction in their pain.

What conditions can Shockwave Therapy ESWT treat?

Our speciality in using Shockwave is for Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis (Fasciopathy) heel pain and calcaneal heel spurs. The other uses of ESWT, however, are numerous ranging from pain in the foot, knee, shin, back and shoulder, to men’s health and more. Conditions typically seen include Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (hip), Epicondylitis (‘tennis or golfers’ elbow’), periarticular shoulder pain and patella tendonitis to name a few.

Is Shockwave Therapy ESWT safe?
Yes. It has NICE guidance and FDA approval for a large number of indications. shockwave Therapy performed by qualified therapists is a largely risk and side-effect-free method of treating musculo-skeletal conditions and chronic pain.

How many sessions will I need and how long does it take?
The treatment session lasts approximately 20 minutes. This is enough time to administer hundreds to thousands of shockwaves in rapid succession. 

An average of four to sometimes six sessions, are needed.

Sessions can be purchased on a pay-as-you-go basis or paid for upfront as a package which will save you money.

Is shockwave therapy covered by private health insurance?
Yes. The majority of private health insurance companies cover the this treatment. Please contact your insurer provider and ensure you are covered prior to booking a consultation.

Is Shockwave Therapy painful during treatment?
Shockwave sounds scary, but it’s definitely not! Will it cause pain? A little, yes, but this is only to your self-perceived pain score of about a 4/10. You may feel a little discomfort to begin with, however, the treatment is started at a very low level which gets the patient accustomed. In-fact, Shockwave Therapy actually creates an analgesic effect and many patients report an immediate relief following their treatment.

Will there be pain after treatment?
Occasionally a mild and diffused achy pain may occur a few hours after treatment but this often subsides after a day or so.

Immediately after their treatment, patients will typically feel a reduction in pain. 

What should or shouldn’t I do if there is pain after my treatment?
If necessary, patients may use ordinary prescription-free pain killers. Do not use anti-inflammatory medication or apply ice on the treated area. Shockwave therapy treatment initiates a pro-inflammatory response in the tissue that is being treated. Anti-inflammatories or ice may interfere with the body’s self-healing process. Do ensure you follow our advice on your rehab/exercis/strengthening plan as this will ensure optimum results.

What are the Advantages of Shockwave Therapy ESWT? 
“ESWT offers two main advantages over traditional surgical methods: fewer potential complications and a faster return to normal activity” FDA.

  • Effective pain relief with no anaesthesia
    •       Non-invasive
    •       No medication
    •       Faster return from injury
    •       Largely risk and side-effect free compared to other treatments e.g., steroid injection therapy
    •       Significant clinical benefit often seen 6-12 weeks post treatment
    •     Provides a natural analgesic effect and encourages the body to ‘self-heal’  

When can it be used:
•       When surgery is not an option
•       When pain relief medications and injections no longer work
•       When a patient or athlete does not want/is not suitable for a steroid injection
•       When no contraindications are present  

Contraindications – when shouldn’t Shockwave Therapy be used:

Shockwave therapy is very safe and actually has fewer contraindications than some more well-known therapies such as acupuncture and massage. However, the following contraindications apply:

  • Pregnant or trying to conceive
    •       Application over open growth plates – not suitable for patients under 18 years
    •       Over metal pins or plates
    •       Near/over malignant tumours
    •       Nerve or circulation disorders
    •       Infection
    •       If you are taking anticoagulants or have a blood disorder

Precautions after shockwave therapy treatment:
Even if there is no pain, we recommend that patients refrain from intensive activities that stress the treated area for the next 48 hours after each treatment. We advise not to use ice or anti-inflammatory medicines after shockwave therapy as these will be counterproductive to the treatment, which encourages the body’s own natural healing process.

What if the shockwave therapy treatment doesn’t work?
It can take a few months for the maximum effect to be felt, however, the initial response to shockwave therapy treatment is very good. Keep in mind the best results are achieved with the patient following all of the treatment plan given to them. However, if pain still persists then an alternative treatment or surgery may be an option.

For more information or to book an appointment contact us on 07516 425 748 or email

German Engineered

The company behind the technology

Our shockwave machine compared to others:

There are a variety of medical engineering companies manufacturing shockwave machines. We, however, have chosen our machine from arguably the most reputable shockwave company around, Storz Medical. Storz are a German company but are based just over the border in Switzerland. They are known in the field for their medical technology exceptional build quality. 

UK work

We also use the UK’s number one supplier and educator of Shockwave Therapy – Venn Healthcare for all our servicing needs. Venn have supplied over 950 NHS hospitals, Private hospitals and Clinics with their equipment.