Skip to content


Shockwave Therapy

What is Shockwave therapy?

shockwave therapyShockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment which is helpful in providing pain relief for patients suffering from a number of common painful orthopaedic conditions or sports injuries.

How does it work?

The treatment works by applying energetic (not electrical) shockwaves to the painful area. The shockwaves break down injured tissue and calcifications as well as initiating increased blood circulation to the area which in turn accelerates the body’s own healing processes.

What conditions can be treated?

Shockwave therapy can be used to treat chronic tendon inflammations in the hip, knee, shoulder, elbow, Achilles and sole of the foot.  It is recommended for conditions such as heel pain (plantar fasciitis), tennis elbow, tendonitis of the shoulder, tendinopathies of the Achilles tendon, hamstring and patella as well as other painful areas like trochanteric bursitis.

What happens at a treatment session?

Your consultant will locate the painful area by palpation, or in some cases using ultrasound, and then apply a contact gel before administering the shockwaves.  The procedure is non invasive, virtually painless and significant clinic benefit is often seen six to eight weeks after treatment. Generally, one to three sessions are required but your consultant will discuss an appropriate treatment plan with you.  Each treatment session lasts approximately twenty minutes.

How successful is treatment?

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy treatment is a highly effective treatment available for patients with chronic tendon disorders, and is used widely by sports physicians and orthopaedic surgeons. This is a very successful second line treatment for patients who fail to respond to appropriate physiotherapy. Shockwave therapy is a non surgical treatment, and works by delivering impulses of energy, targeted to specific damaged tissues within the abnormal tendon. This increases the blood flow within the affected area, stimulating cell regeneration and healing, and decreasing local factors which can cause pain. Patients are typically treated in an outpatient environment (not in theatre), and the procedure does not require any type of sedation or anesthetic.

Conditions recommended for treatment with shockwave therapy:

• Plantar Fasciitis
• Calcific Tendonitis Shoulder
• Tennis and Golfer’s elbow
• Achilles Tendinopathy
• Trochanteric bursitis (Lateral hip pain)
• Patella Tendinopathy (Jumpers Knee)
• Medial Tibial Periostitis (shin splints)

Who can access this service?

This service is currently only available to self funding and medically insured patients. A GP referral is required to book an initial appointment.

Privately insured patients

As shockwave therapy is recognised by NICE most private medical insurers will cover such treatment. However, it is essential that patients consult their insurance companies and obtain written confirmation that they will be covered prior to their appointment.

Self funding patients

Self funding patients will need a GP referral for an initial appointment at a cost of £157. Patients can expect to then receive approximately three treatments, dependent on outcome of initial consultation and the individual condition. The maximum cost for three treatments is £600, which includes a follow up consultation three months after treatment with the clinical specialist to discuss the results.

If you have a long term condition and have tried conservative measures such as physiotherapy you can ask your GP for a private referral for Shockwave Therapy at Horder Healthcare Eastbourne or at The Horder Centre in Crowborough.

The Assert Protocol

The Assert Protocol is a multi-centre project throughout the UK whose objective is to provide a consistent and robust platform to enable accurate scientific evaluation of the clinical effectiveness of shockwave therapy for the management of soft tissue injuries. This protocol is designed to be a simple and efficient method to record the clinical outcomes of shockwave therapy and comply with the NICE guidance. Patients at Horder Healthcare will be given the opportunity to become part of this study.

Healthy eating

Exercise & fitness


Need help?

If you are experiencing problems accessing the content on the website, please let us know and we will do our utmost to help.

Leave feedback about Horder Healthcare or read patient reviews — NHS Choices website

Horder Healthcare is regulated by Care Quality Commission to provide care — Read the full report