What Is Shockwave Therapy?

What Are The Benefits?

As utilized by the Calgary Flames, Shockwave Therapy is a safe and effective modality within a Chiropractic preventative wellness care model for optimal health and quality of life for our patients.


Shockwave Therapy is a non-invasive treatment that offers long-term relief from pain and generates virtually immediate results. It directs high-energy acoustic sound waves (ultrasound) to injured tissues for the accelerated healing of acute and particularly chronic conditions.


It breaks down scarring and calcification and promotes regeneration of bones, tendons and soft tissues. Taking only minutes, a course of therapy can be completed quickly allowing patients to return to activities faster.


Your First Visit

Prior to your first visit, please take a few moments to complete your New Patient Intake paperwork online HERE or arrive 10-minutes early to complete a paper version, as this will provide our Doctors with the required information to evaluate your health needs to ensure the utmost care.

During your first visit, you will share information about your health, such as any injury or surgery, medications, family health history and your reasons for seeking Shockwave Therapy at this time. A physical assessment may include: posture, range of motion, reflexes, vitals, and other orthopaedic and neurologic tests. The device will generate a clicking sound and the therapy will feel a bit like a mini jackhammer, intensity adjusted based on patient tolerance. Gown or shorts are provided if needed. Should you be interested in Chiropractic adjustment, gentle manual, Activator, Flexion-Distraction or drop-table adjustments may take place as well as some soft tissue techniques for enhanced range of motion. Your required treatment plan will be outlined for your optimal results. Some patients may require x-rays in order to provide greater insight into their condition, at that point in time we will provide you with the required referral information.​

After your treatment, some homecare recommendations may have been suggested to you including gentle stretches or exercises, water/diet/lifestyle modifications, ice/heat application and various follow-up treatment. Expect to book a several consecutive treatments at first for best results (especially for addressing chronic conditions) or on occasion for the pain reduction of acute flare-ups. As they have accumulated over time, chronic conditions may require additional time to correct. Your compliance with our team's recommendations will ensure optimal results!

Some of the numerous benefits of Shockwave therapy include:​

  • Relief from Chronic Back, Neck, Shoulder, Knee & Hip Pain  relieve painful trigger points, break down scarring or adhesions from old injuries (Whiplash) or surgeries & reduce inflammation

  • Improve Challenging Conditions of Tendons & Fascia  stimulate metabolic activity & tissue repair to resolve Tendonitis, Bursitis, Myofasical Pain & IT Band Syndromes

  • Improve Healing in Lower Extremities  address foot pain, Plantar Fasciitis, Bunions, Heel Spurs, Neuromas, Achilles injuries, Shin Splints & others

  • Relief from Joint Pain  combat effects of Osteoarthritis, break down tendon calcification & improve quality of life

  • Address Repetitive Strain Injuries   improve Rotator Cuff injuries, Tennis Elbow, Golfer's Elbow & Carpal Tunnel

  • Pain Management & Combination Therapies combine with Chiropractic, Soft Tissue Therapies and/or our Class IV Laser modality to support accelerated healing & relieve chronic pain

  • Commonly fully or partially covered by health insurance plans

Direct billed to insurance under Chiropractic coverage!

  • Acute conditions: 1-3 treatments with intervals of 5-7 days recommended

  • Chronic conditions: 4-8 treatments with intervals of 3-5 days recommended, allowing body ‘rest & repair’ time to allow for natural, accelerated healing

See booking for pairing with Laser therapy.

A variety of holistic healthcare services and support products complement Shockwave Therapy to help ensure optimal function and prevention of future ailments. Our additional health services and hi-tech modalities include:

Enjoy in a Combined Chiropractic & Modality visit or just a Modality-Only follow-up. Learn more about our wellness services

Direct insurance billing available for all services.
Individual plan restrictions apply. Learn more 



Providing Only the Best

Our clinic utilizes state of the art technologies so our patients can get back to life faster! Powerful Chiropractic modalities including Motion Metascan Gait Analysis, Class IV Laser, Radial Shockwave Therapy/ESWT and TENS, are often preferred to various treatments (or even surgeries) due to their demonstrated effectiveness and non-invasive nature.

Radial Shockwave Therapy is utilized by prominent clinicians and professional athletes around the world and praised for its proven results and we are thrilled to provide patients access to these amazing FDA approved tools. With its consistency and adaptability for different regions of the body, it is ideal for treating both acute and chronic conditions including challenging conditions of the tendons, fascia, breaking down calcification or scarring, improved range of motion and offering virtually immediate results.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 'Shockwave' Therapy?

Radial Shockwave Therapy (RSWT) or Extracorporeal (meaning outside of the body) Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), also known as Shockwave Therapy (SWT) is a Health Canada Licensed and FDA cleared therapeutic treatment that uses an acoustic sound wave which carries high energy to painful spots and myoskeletal tissues for the accelerated healing of subacute, subchronic and chronic conditions, while accelerating tissue regeneration. The energy promotes regeneration and reparative processes of the bones, tendons and other soft tissues.

Shockwave Therapy was developed from studying the side effects from an ultrasound procedure that disintegrates kidney stones, as well as other calculus from outside the body (extracorporeal). It was discovered that patients receiving this treatment experienced reduced back pain as well as increased bone density and new tissue growth in the treated area. SWT was soon developed for the orthopedic arena to treat conditions such as tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis/heel spurs, stress fractures and other conditions. It has been used successfully for over 25 years for these indications.

What conditions can be treated?

Shockwave mechanical pressure waves are widely used to treat musculoskeletal conditions, such as:

• Deep back and neck pain, shoulder, knee and hip pain
• Myofascial trigger points
• Break down tendon calcification, scarring or adhesions from old injuries/surgeries & reduce inflammation
• Challenging conditions of the tendons and fascia such as: tendonitis, bursitis, shin splints, myofasical pain and IT band syndromes
• Foot/arch pain, plantar fasciitis, bunions, heel spurs, neuormas, achilles injuries
• Wrist & hand injuries
• Repetitive Strain Injuries such as carpal tunnel, golfer's elbow, tennis elbow and others
• Combat effects of osteoarthritis and arthritis
• General health and well-being

Other healthcare therapies or modalities that may complement your Shockwave Therapy goals include:

-Chiropractic Adjustment & Soft Tissue Therapies
-Class IV Laser Therapy
-Traction, ART, MRT, Graston, GuaSha, Cupping
-Infrared Sauna (Hyperthermy/Heat Therapy)
-Registered Massage
-Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture
-Dry Needling/IMS Acupuncture

How does it work?

Shockwave therapy involves directing a short series of high-energy sound waves (mechanical pressure waves) at injured tissues. This treatment produces an inflammatory response in the body, which increases metabolic activity around in the area of pain and discomfort, stimulating and accelerating the natural healing process, breaking down scar tissue and calcifications while reducing chronic inflammation. Shockwave therapy offers virtually immediate improvement of range of motion and long-term relief from chronic pain and discomfort in the affected area.

How often can I get treated?

Although the treatment has a cumulative effect and you can safely be treated daily, spacing treatment out in intervals is recommended for optimal results. In the cases of chronic issues (conditions that have been a challenge for a while), we have a little more 'chipping away at the problem' to do than with acute (newer) conditions or flare-ups.

-Acute conditions: require 1-3 treatments with intervals of 5-7 days
-Chronic conditions: 4-8 treatments with intervals of 3-5 days, allowing body ‘rest & repair’ time to allow for natural, accelerated healing

How many treatments will I need?

This depends on the nature of the condition being treated. Shockwave delivers about 2,000 pulses per area, approximately 5-minutes each. For some acute conditions 1 to 3 treatments with intervals of 5-7 days may be sufficient. Those of a more chronic nature may require 4 to 8 (or more) treatments with intervals of 3-5 days, allowing body ‘rest & repair’ time to allow for natural, accelerated healing.

We offer direct insurance billing for all services.

How long until I feel results?

Shockwave therapy generates virtually immediate results, so you may feel improvement in your condition (usually pain reduction and/or range of motion) after the very first treatment. Sometimes you will not feel improvement for a number of treatments. This does not mean that the condition is not improving. Each treatment is cumulative and results are often felt after a few sessions.

Can it be combined with other forms of treatment?

Yes! Shockwave Therapy is often combined with Chiropractic, physical therapy, massage and even following surgery. Class IV Laser Therapy is another healing modality that can be used in conjunction with Shockwave to increase the effectiveness of the treatment and accelerate healing.

Effectiveness rates for this well-tested treatment are excellent, typically in the range of 90% when combined with Chiropractic care. Multiple research studies have found that in many cases, relief can be achieved after just 2-3 treatments, with overall success rates of:

• 91% for calcific tendinitis of the shoulder and Achilles tendinopathies
• 90% for Plantar fasciitis
•77% for Tennis elbow

1 Journal of American Medical Association, 2003
2 The Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 2005
3 The Journal of Orthopaedics, 2005

After your initial 'Shockwave Assessment & Treatment Plan' appointment you'll have several follow-up Shockwave treatments with our Certified Assistant(s), with a 'Combined Chiropractic & Shockwave' appointment with Dr. Sacco & Dr. Mortimer meant to re-align and touch base in between every 2 or 3 follow-ups. See booking options for pairing with Chiropractic and/or Class IV Laser.

Is it covered by my insurance plan?

As Shockwave Therapy and Class IV Laser Therapy are modalities within Chiropractic under the guidance of Dr. Sacco, your treatment can be direct billed to your insurance plan under Chiropractic coverage.

How long does each treatment take?

The typical treatment is 1-5 minutes per region, depending on the size of the area being treated, focussing on the chief complaint. You may be treated in more than one area per session if recommended and time permitting.

Follow-up sessions target therapy to up to 3 regions of the body and are designed to accelerate tissue healing in between Chiropractic visits.

Does it hurt? What does it feel like?

Treatment may be mildly uncomfortable, since it lasts only about 5-minutes, most are able to tolerate it well. Additionally, intensity can be adjusted throughout the session. You may notice the sounds change as we adjust the intensity, earplugs are available if needed (ie. if we're treating neck, upper shoulders, TMJ). Areas of pain or inflammation may be sensitive briefly before pain reduction - not to worry, this is normal and indicates that your body is responding to the positive changes we are making.

See booking options about booking Class IV Laser in conjunction to reduce discomfort and accelerate healing further. A relaxing Sauna session can also accelerate healing and improve muscle response and circulation.

Are there any side effects?

Trigger points are the principal cause of pain in the back, neck, shoulder and limbs and commonly relieved with Shockwave Therapy. Occasionally some old injuries or pain syndromes may feel aggravated for a few days, as the healing response is more active after treatment.

Similar to a therapeutic/deep tissue massage experience, you will likely have improved range of motion and reduced pain lasting for several hours following treatment, with mild tenderness as the body's natural healing response takes place.

See booking options about booking Class IV Laser in conjunction to reduce discomfort and accelerate healing further. A relaxing Sauna session can also accelerate healing and improve muscle response and circulation.

If interested, feel free to inquire with reception about purchasing epsom bathsalts, joint/muscle nutritional supplements and Biofreeze pain reliver products for home use in between treatment.

Is it scientifically proven?

Yes! There are thousands of published studies demonstrating the clinical effectiveness of Shockwave Therapy. Among these, there are many rigorously controlled, scientific studies that document the effectiveness of this treatment for many clinical conditions.
Powerful modalities such as Class IV Laser and Shockwave Therapy (available in our clinic) are often preferred to various treatments or surgeries due to their effectiveness and non-invasiveness. We are thrilled to provide patients access to these amazing tools.

Who should not have Shockwave?

Shockwave is ideal for a variety of physical conditions and ages, with adjustable setting for various needs and patient tolerance. A few things to consider before booking:
-Shockwave is not for directly treating the thyroid, eyes, malignant or benign tumours

-As the therapy involves mechanical energy in the form of vibrations, it is not suitable directly over pacemakers or analgesic pumps

**Please keep in mind that our Class IV Laser (cellular energy) can safely treat over pacemakers and anelgesic pumps and is a good choice for folks with surgical stables, pins, rods, bone fractures, ligament/muscle pulls or tears!