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How Shockwave Therapy Can Treat Knee Pain

Knee pain is a common condition that can affect people of all ages. It can be caused by a number of factors including:

  • Overuse and repetitive use
  • Injury from trauma
  • Injury from activity and sports
  • Aging
  • Arthritis
  • Underlying medical conditions such as fibromyalgia

Knee pain can be acute or chronic and the impact of knee pain on your quality of life can be significant. Knee pain can result in decreased range of motion, impaired mobility, the inability to complete regular tasks, and constant pain. Shockwave Therapy is a non-invasive, effective treatment for a whole range of conditions including chronic and acute knee pain. Here is how and why it works.

Shockwave Therapy For Knee Pain

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave Therapy, also known as extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), is a non-electrical, high energy sound wave that is passed through the injured area using a handheld device.

These high-pressure sound waves target elements of the musculoskeletal system such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and bones to produce a rapid increase in blood flow. This assists in the breakdown of fibrous scar tissues that have accumulated. The body responds with increased metabolic activity around the site of the pain which promotes inflammatory healing.

Why Does Shockwave Therapy Work?

Excessive pain can sometimes inhibit the effectiveness of therapies meant to address the underlying cause of knee injury. Shockwave Therapy treatment is a valuable addition to physiotherapy and rehabilitative strategies to speed up recovery. It can reduce the symptoms of injury in as few as 2-4 treatments and help boost the body’s natural healing process. After just a few sessions, patients report a return to most activity and a reduction in pain of over 80%.  This pain relief can facilitate a more effective rehabilitation process and return the focus of treatment from pain management to resolution of the underlying source of injury.

Does Shockwave Therapy Hurt?

Patients report that the therapy creates a thumping or pulsing sensation. You may experience mild discomfort during treatment with Shockwave Therapy depending on the level of pain already present in the injured area and the source of injury. Treatment duration can be as short as three to five minutes so most patients are able to tolerate the discomfort for this short period of time.

How Many Sessions of Shockwave Therapy Are Needed?

Most knee pain injuries can be resolved in three to five shockwave treatments spaced approximately one week apart. Some patients require a full course of treatment of up to 12 weeks to achieve full recovery and relief from pain. The injury recovery process can be accelerated with a comprehensive treatment strategy that incorporates other treatment modalities such as Active Release Technique (ART) and Physical Rehabilitation. Your chiropractor can help assess the source of your knee pain and design a treatment plan to relieve your plan and restore range of motion and mobility quickly and effectively.

Am I A Candidate For Shockwave Therapy?

If you are suffering acute or chronic knee pain due to overuse, sports injury, arthritis, trauma, or an underlying condition, Shockwave Therapy might be an effective treatment choice for you. Shockwave Therapy is not suitable for patients who are pregnant, or those who have pacemakers or a history of certain cancers. Your chiropractor can determine your suitability for Shockwave Therapy.

A Comprehensive Strategy To Address Knee Pain At Shephard Health in Calgary

Shockwave Therapy to address chronic and acute knee pain and to rehabilitate the underlying cause of injury is just one of the treatment modalities offered at Shephard Health. We are committed to designing a holistic strategy to relieve knee pain, correct lifestyle habits that contribute to injury, heal injury, and restore range of motion and mobility to get you back to participating in life and the activities you most enjoy. 

As one of Calgary’s Top 3 Rated Chiropractors of 2021, Dr. Shephard uses a variety of treatment modalities to help patients find relief from knee pain, restore movement and mobility, and achieve overall health and wellness at our NW Calgary clinic in Kensington. The Shephard Health team has over 20 years of experience in services ranging from chiropractic care and physical rehabilitation to Active Release Therapy and Shockwave Therapy. We are committed to providing personalized treatment solutions to our patients with thoughtful care and experienced competence. We offer a no-obligation, complimentary consultation to assure you that we are the right team to help you achieve your goals for wellness and pain-free living. Call us at 1-403-543-7499 or fill out the form to book your appointment.


Q: What are the benefits of Shockwave Therapy?
A: There are many benefits related to shockwave therapy. Depending on the ailment that brings you in for treatment, the benefits can be endless. Some of the most beneficial advantages of shockwave therapy include:

  • A non-surgical treatment option
  • Accelerates healing which reduces pain and discomfort rapidly
  • No known side-effects
  • Coverage available through most insurance companies
  • Treatment does not require anesthesia
  • Patients can be treated on both sides of the body at the same time
  • Fast, safe, and effective
  • Decrease pain and increase function
  • No incision, no risk of infection at the treatment site, no scarring
  • Future treatment options are not limited
  • Treatment is very cost-effective

Q: What are the side effects of Shockwave Therapy?
A: There are not really any side effects associated with Shockwave Therapy, but some patients report mild discomfort or soreness after treatment similar to what may be felt after a workout.

Q: How is shockwave treatment performed??
A: The pain region is localized and discussed with the patient. A coupling gel is then applied to the treatment area, where the handpiece will be placed on the region to generate shock waves. The applicator is moved in a circular motion over the pain region for the duration of the treatment. The shock waves are converted into sound energy once the kinetic energy hits the body’s immovable tissues. Each session takes between 5 and 15 minutes depending on the disorder being treated and is scheduled at weekly intervals.

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