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Shockwave Therapy for Patellar Tendinopathy


Patellar tendinopathy frequently appears as a prevalent source of knee pain, especially among athletes and individuals participating in high-impact activities. Also called Jumper’s Knee, this condition affects the tendon that links the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone, resulting in pain and challenges in mobility. Shockwave therapy, a modern and non-invasive treatment, has gained recognition in the medical field for its effectiveness. By utilizing high-energy acoustic waves, shockwave therapy encourages the body’s innate healing mechanisms, focusing on the impacted area and facilitating recovery, thus presenting itself as a viable treatment option for those grappling with knee pain from patellar tendinopathy.

Causes & Symptoms of Patellar Tendinopathy

Tendinopathy, at its core, refers to a condition where tendons, the fibrous structures attaching muscles to bones, experience inflammation or damage. This can lead to symptoms like pain, swelling, and hindered function.

Zooming into patellar tendinopathy, this particular form of tendinopathy involves the tendon connecting the kneecap (patella) to the shinbone. It’s a condition especially familiar to those frequently engaging in physical activities, and it’s often characterized by pain just below the kneecap. Multiple factors can give rise to this ailment, including but not limited to:

  • Repetitive Strain: Continuous jumping or abrupt changes in activity levels.
  • Biomechanical Factors: Such as alignment or structural abnormalities.
  • Improper Training Techniques: Like poor form during exercise or inadequate equipment.

Symptoms typically manifest as localized pain, swelling, and a discernible difficulty or hesitation when engaging in activities that strain the knee, such as jumping, running, or even ascending stairs.

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy, in simple terms, is a non-invasive medical treatment that makes use of high-energy sound waves or acoustic waves to stimulate healing in injured areas of the body. These sound waves are introduced externally, targeting the specific area that needs healing.

The mechanism behind shockwave therapy revolves around the idea of creating controlled microtrauma in the targeted tissues. This microtrauma, in turn, stimulates a series of biological responses, including increasing blood flow and cellular repair mechanisms, ultimately accelerating the body’s inherent healing processes. While it might sound intense, this therapy is generally pain-free and is used to treat a range of conditions, from chronic pain, tendonitis, and musculoskeletal conditions to even wound healing. 

How Does Shockwave Therapy Help Treat Patellar Tendinopathy?

When applied to areas affected by patellar tendinopathy, Shockwave Therapy works wonders by stimulating cellular repair mechanisms. The high-energy acoustic waves, when directed at the affected tendon, create a controlled inflammatory response. This response jump-starts the body’s natural healing mechanisms, promoting blood circulation and collagen formation in the targeted area.

Furthermore, these waves break down any scar tissue or calcifications that might have formed in the tendon due to the condition. As these barriers are eliminated, and the healing process is expedited, patients typically experience reduced pain and improved mobility over time. As such, shockwave therapy emerges as an effective, non-invasive option for those wrestling with the challenges of patellar tendinopathy.

Shockwave Therapy vs Other Traditional Treatments for Patellar Tendinopathy

Shockwave Therapy for Patellar Tendinopathy


When considering treatments for patellar tendinopathy, patients often come across a variety of options. Traditional treatments typically include:

Physiotherapy: This involves specific exercises designed to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint, reducing the strain on the tendon. It is often accompanied by massage or other manual therapies.

Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen) can help in managing pain and swelling.

Corticosteroid Injections: These are directly injected into the tendon sheath to reduce inflammation. They provide short-term pain relief but may weaken the tendon over time.

Surgery: Surgical intervention may be considered when other treatments fail to bring relief.

Compared to traditional methods, shockwave therapy is usually a quicker, less painful, and a potentially more efficient method, promoting healing without the need for pain management medications or recovery from surgical interventions. It holds a unique position in healthcare as it bridges the gap between non-invasive therapies and surgery.

However, the best treatment always depends on individual patient factors, including the severity of the condition, age, and overall health.

Frequently Asked Questions about Shockwave Therapy for Patellar Tendinopathy

  • How Many Shockwave Therapy Sessions Are Needed for Patellar Tendinopathy?


    The number of shockwave therapy sessions required for patellar tendinopathy largely varies according to the severity of the condition and the patient’s response to treatment. On average, many practitioners recommend a course of 3 to 5 sessions, although some cases might require additional treatments for optimal results. Factors such as the chronicity of the condition, the patient’s age, and overall health can influence the number of sessions needed. Always a discussion between the healthcare provider and patient, the specific plan for shockwave therapy should be customized based on individual factors and response to treatment.

  • How Long Does Shockwave Therapy Benefits Last for Patellar Tendinopathy Patients?


    Shockwave therapy for patellar tendinopathy offers lasting benefits, often providing relief for months or even years. To maintain and optimize these benefits, ongoing self-care, prescribed exercises, and potential lifestyle changes are essential. Lasting results hinges on a holistic approach, which may involve modifying activities, specific exercises, and periodic maintenance sessions as recommended by healthcare providers.

    Read more about how long shockwave therapy takes to work

  • What Factors Might Prevent Me from Undergoing Shockwave Therapy?


    While shockwave therapy is beneficial for many, it might not be suitable for everyone. Some contraindications include:

    • Pregnancy: It’s not recommended for pregnant women, especially near the abdomen or pelvis.
    • Malignancies: It should not be applied over areas with tumors.
    • Pacemakers: Shockwave therapy should not be administered over pacemakers. 

    Always consult with a medical professional to determine if shockwave therapy is the right treatment option. Individual evaluations and a comprehensive medical history are crucial in making informed decisions.

    Read more about shockwave therapy side effects

The Best Shockwave Therapy for Patellar Tendinopathy

Are you looking for safe, reliable, and effective relief from patellar tendinopathy?

SoftWave therapy is FDA-cleared, patented, and nationally recognized for its leading tissue regeneration technology. Unlike other types of high-energy shockwave treatments, SoftWave is the only shockwave therapy on the market that uses true unfocused shock waves that treat larger and deeper areas of tissue. 

Thousands of patients have experienced the benefits of SoftWave for patellar tendinopathy, including:

  • Little to no side effects
  • Short treatment time
  • Quick recovery
  • Long-lasting results

Find a SoftWave Therapy provider near you or learn more about SoftWave and whether or not you’re eligible for full treatment today!

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