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Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy  (ESWT) is a safe, noninvasive treatment that involves delivery of energy in the form of shockwaves to injured tissues to reduce pain and promote healing. ESWT is an option for patients with chronic tendinopathy that have not responded to other conservative treatments.

How does shockwave therapy work?

Shockwave therapy works by emitting high energy pulses. These pulses of energy are delivered to the injured area using an applicator connected to the shockwave therapy device. Shock wave therapy is thought to work by inducing microtrauma to the tissue that is affected by these problems. This microtrauma initiates a healing response by the body.

The healing response causes blood vessel formation and increased delivery of nutrients to the affected area. The microtrauma is thought to stimulate a repair process and relieve the symptoms of pain.

The result is faster and more complete healing.

Which conditions can be treated with Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave Therapy is FDA approved for a variety of conditions and there are hundreds of clinical studies proving efficacy.

Common tendinopathies that shockwave therapy is able to treat include lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow), rotator cuff tendinopathy, biceps tendinopathy, gluteal tendinopathy (greater trochanteric pain), patellar tendinopathy, and hamstring tendinopathy.

Additionally, Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis are also commonly treated conditions by podiatry.

How much does Shockwave Therapy cost?

The initial consultation to determine if ESWT is appropriate will be billed to your insurance. The ESWT treatments are not covered by insurance. UW Sports Medicine offers an upfront discounted price of $150 per treatment.

How many treatments are required?

Most conditions can be treated with 3-5 weekly treatments.

What are the side effects of the Shockwave Therapy?

In general, there are very minimal side effects. Most commonly patients may experience discomfort during the treatment. Transiently, some patients may experience temporary redness, bruising, or soreness for 1-2 days after treatment.

Where can I get shockwave therapy in Seattle?

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) is currently being performed at the Sports Medicine Clinic at Northwest Outpatient Medical Center
10330 Meridian Ave. N, Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98133

Phone: (206) 668-6100

Dr. Cherie Johnson, DPM and Dr. Tony Kim, DPM perform ESWT to treat Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis.

Dr. Eric Chen, MD performs ESWT to treat upper extremity and all other lower extremity tendinopathies.

This post was written by Dr. Michael Domingo in December of 2021. Learn more about Mike by clicking here



Dr. Eric Chen at UW medicine was also a major contributor to this blog article.

Eric T. Chen, MD, MS, is a board-certified physiatrist who specializes in sports medicine. He believes in a team-based approach to care that empowers patients with the knowledge to maximize their quality of life and return to the activities they love the most.

Dr. Chen’s clinical interests include the non-operative treatment of musculoskeletal and sports-related injury including tendinitis, muscle strain, ligament sprain, arthritis, joint pain and spine pain. He has special expertise in ultrasound-guided and interventional spine procedures including cortisone injections, epidural injections, viscosupplementation, and platelet-rich plasma injections.

Dr. Chen is a clinical assistant professor for the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. His research interests include regenerative medicine and musculoskeletal ultrasound.

Learn more about Dr. Eric Chen by clicking here


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