Shockwave therapy Knee osteoarthritis

Extracorpeal shockwaves therapy for knee oa
Knee osteoarthritis is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. It occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in the knee deteriorates over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. While there’s no cure for osteoarthritis, there are various treatments available to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. One such treatment gaining attention in the medical community is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT).

Understanding Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses shock waves, or sound waves, to promote healing in injured or degenerated tissues. Initially used to break down kidney stones, ESWT has found applications in orthopaedics for treating conditions like plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and more recently, knee osteoarthritis.

How ESWT Works for Knee Osteoarthritis

The therapy works by directing high-energy shock waves at the affected area. These waves induce microtrauma to the tissue, which stimulates the body’s natural healing processes. The theory is that the shock waves increase blood flow, promote cell regeneration, and dissolve calcium deposits that can contribute to pain.

The Modified Technique for Tendon and Ligament

A recent study  by Kun-Dong Ho et al (2023) focused on a modified ESWT technique targeting tendons and ligaments around the knee, areas that traditional treatments for osteoarthritis often overlook. Tendons and ligaments play crucial roles in knee stability and function, and their involvement in the therapy aims to provide a more comprehensive approach to treating knee osteoarthritis.

The study was a randomized controlled trial, the gold standard for clinical research, which compared the effects of this modified ESWT technique against a placebo treatment. Participants who received the real ESWT reported significant improvements in pain relief and knee function, suggesting that ESWT could be an effective option for managing symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.

What This Means for People with Knee Osteoarthritis

For those struggling with knee osteoarthritis, ESWT offers a promising alternative to more invasive treatments like surgery. It’s a non-invasive, outpatient procedure with minimal side effects, making it an attractive option for people seeking pain relief and improved mobility. Please consult with one of our Stephanie one of our osteopaths to determine if ESWT is suitable for your specific condition.

The Future of ESWT and Knee Osteoarthritis

As research into ESWT and its applications continues, it’s likely that this therapy will become more refined and potentially more effective. Future studies may focus on optimizing treatment parameters, such as the frequency and intensity of the shock waves, to maximize therapeutic benefits.

In conclusion, Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy represents a promising frontier in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. By targeting not just the cartilage but also the surrounding tendons and ligaments, ESWT offers a holistic approach to managing the condition. As always, it’s important to discuss all treatment options with your healthcare provider to make an informed decision that aligns with your health goals and lifestyle.


Ho KD, Yang CL, Lo HY, Yeh HJ. Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy With a Modified Technique on Tendon and Ligament for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2022 Jan 1;101(1):11-17. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001730. PMID: 34915541.