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What is Shockwave Therapy?

It is a powerful non-surgical treatment, highly effective in pain relief and regaining function and mobility. When applied to the affected area, it stimulates tissue healing and regeneration.


A sequence of low frequency, high energy acoustic waves are generated from the kinetic energy of the projectile. It is created by compressed air, transferred to the transmitter at the end of the applicator and directed into the affected tissue. 

What makes shockwave therapy so effective is that its effects occur at the deep cellular level. This means the body kickstarts its recovery at the very foundational stage, bringing about chemical changes for tissue healing and regeneration. As a result, the relief it brings is longer lasting and recovery is long-term.

Traditionally, the option for shockwave therapy is only incorporated when all other non-invasive treatments have been deemed unsuccessful. However, when administered timely and accurately by a qualified healthcare professional such as a physiotherapist, it can be used as a first-line of effective treatment approach to many conditions. In many countries, the timely incorporation of shockwave therapy during physiotherapy sessions have helped many individuals circumvent surgeries or long-term pain medications.

Benefits of Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy brings about accelerated tissue repair and cell growth, pain relief and restoration of function and mobility. It is exceptionally effective in treating sub-acute and chronic conditions. Some examples of conditions that respond positively to shockwave therapy include chronic tendinopathies, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, heel spurs, jumper’s knee, insertional pain, medial tibial stress syndrome and many more.

The science of Shockwave Therapy

1. Pain relief

  • Reversal of chronic inflammation:

    When an inflammatory response has not completely ceased, this is known as chronic inflammation. This can irritate and damage healthy tissue, leading to chronic pain. Mast cells are involved in the inflammatory process. When activated, they trigger the production of small proteins namely chemokines and cytokines, which direct the migration of white blood cells toward infected or damaged tissue. This initially amplifies the inflammatory process, followed by restoring normal healing and regenerative processes. The application of shockwave therapy has been shown to increase the activity of these mast cells which then leads to all these other processes. 

  • Reduction of Substance "P":

    Substance "P" exists within our bodies to regulate the perception of pain by relaying messages of pain to the central nervous system.  Substance P is often associated with the perception of intense and persistent chronic pain. When the concentration of bodily substance "P" is reduced, there is less stimulation of the pain-perceiving fibres of the central nervous system. In addition, decreasing substance P also decelerates the development of inflammation-associated swelling. The concentration of Substance "P" is observed to be lowered with exposure to acoustic waves from shockwave therapy.

  • Dissolve calcifications:

    After undergoing repetitive micro-tears or trauma, calcification can occur within the affected tendon or muscle. Acoustic waves from shockwave therapy are able to break up these calcifications. The resulting calcium particles are then drained away by the lymphatic system.

  • Release of trigger points:

    Trigger points are believed to be nodules within muscle bands, formed by over-contracted muscle fibre units. With this over-contraction, these muscle fibres cut off their own blood flow and supply, causing a build-up of waste products. These waste products irritate the sensory nerve endings of the muscles, which cause more contraction. The acoustic waves unblock calcium ion pumps within the muscle fibres, allowing efficient breakdown and clearance of these waste products.

2. Tissue regeneration 

  • Formation of new blood vessels:

    Blood carries oxygen and nutrients, which are needed for the repair of damaged tissue. Application of shock waves induces micro ruptures of tiny blood vessels within the tendon and/or bone tissue. These blood vessels remodel and new ones are formed. The new blood vessels improve the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the treated area, encouraging faster healing of the injured or degenerated structure. 

  • Stimulate collagen production:

    Acoustic waves from shockwave therapy catalyse the organisation of procollagen to form the triple helix collagen, by compacting new collagen fibres into a longitudinal structure. This makes the new tendon fibres stiffer and denser, giving rise to a more resistant and less-yielding structure.

All the above-mentioned processes are simultaneously carried out during the course of shockwave therapy treatment.

An experience with Shockwave Therapy

Joe Hanney, who has suffered through pain and mobility issues due to shoulder tendonitis, first tried Shockwave Therapy with AMP Lab at Core Collective and this is what he experienced:

"I found Shockwave Therapy to be a very effective and efficient treatment protocol.  It’s less invasive, no oils are needed and the only way I can describe it is it is like a deep tissue massage on steroids but 99% less painful and 1000% more effective and that is no joke. I am someone who is impatient and needs to see instant results. I saw a reduction in pain, inflammation and could move my shoulder immediately after the first treatment. After several sessions, I can honestly say my shoulder tendonitis is now more or less fixed. I still am on the road to recovery, but I'm now back in the gym doing exercises that my shoulder wouldn’t allow me to do prior to receiving the Shockwave Therapy treatment."

In summary, Shockwave Therapy provides a fast and non-invasive solution for anyone seeking pain relief and improved mobility for an injury or any chronic pain.

Looking for something to help with pain relief or to improve your mobility? Get in touch with AMP Lab now to find out more about Shockwave Therapy!


Featured Contributor: 


AMP Lab specialises in three types of services, and they are physiotherapy, exercise physiology and sports science. They aim to deliver the best physiotherapy and performance coaching by helping their clients achieve their health, fitness and sporting goals with the right attitude, a steady mind and peak physique. 

They are the first wellness company in Singapore to offer physiotherapy, exercise physiology and sports science services in a single entity to provide the best possible and holistic healthcare/fitness solution for you.

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