Radial Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy or rESWT is a method of treatment for multiple tendonopathies.
This technology has been cleared by the FDA for treatment of plantar fasciitis and tennis elbow. Many studies have also utilized this treatment modality forachilles tendinitis patellar tendinitis, shoulder tendinitis, stress fractures and nonunion of fractures. Generally, this treatment approach has been used whenever angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) might be helpful in encouraging soft tissue structure healing.
There are several theories as to how rESWT may or may not help promote better healing. The most accepted one is that the microtrauma of the repeated shock wave to the affected area creates neo-vascularization (new blood flow) into the area. It is this new blood flow that promotes tissue healing. Another theory is that in chronic pain, the brain has "forgotten" about the pain and is doing nothing to heal the area. By having shockwave therapy a new inflammatory process is created and the brain can react to it by sending the necessary body nutrients to the area to promote healing.