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Shockwave Therapy for Shoulder Impingements


If you’re dealing with shoulder impingement, you know the discomfort and movement limitations it can bring. Finding relief is often a priority, and while traditional treatments offer some respite, alternative therapies like shockwaves are gaining attention for their role in managing shoulder pain.

Shockwave therapy has been shown to benefit those suffering from shoulder impingements. Rather than just treating symptoms, it promotes the body’s natural healing processes, potentially enhancing your journey to improved shoulder function.

Understanding Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Understanding Shoulder Impingement Syndrome


Shoulder impingement syndrome is a condition characterized by irritation or damage to the rotator cuff tendons, often leading to persistent shoulder pain. This discomfort arises from the tendons being compressed during shoulder movements, especially when lifting the arm. Over time, the repeated pinching can result in inflammation, swelling, and even tears in the rotator cuff, exacerbating the pain.

Symptoms typically include: 

  • Shoulder pain, which worsens with arm movement
  • Pain when lifting objects
  • Weakness in the shoulder
  • Limited shoulder motion, especially overhead.
  • Nighttime shoulder pain.
  • Crepitus (grating sensation) during shoulder movement.
  • Tenderness around the acromion and front of the shoulder.
  • Common causes of this syndrome include overuse (such as repetitive lifting) or structural abnormalities that narrow the space the tendons pass through.

Immediate Treatments for Shoulder Impingement

Immediate treatment for shoulder impingement often involves the RICE protocol—Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This approach aims to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Resting the shoulder from aggravating activities gives the inflamed tendons a chance to recover. Alongside RICE, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can be used to reduce pain and swelling, providing short-term relief.

As these initial treatments take effect, some individuals may seek additional options to promote longer-term recovery. Shockwave therapy emerges as an effective treatment for those looking to enhance the healing process of shoulder impingement. 

It’s a non-invasive procedure known to benefit deep tissue injuries and can be a complementary therapy post the acute phase of injury, bridging the gap between conservative measures and more invasive interventions.

How Shockwave Therapy Works to Alleviate Shoulder Impingement

Shockwave therapy offers a non-surgical approach to alleviating shoulder impingement by employing high-energy sound waves that target the affected area. This therapy is gaining traction for its effectiveness in treating deep tissue injuries, such as those involving the rotator cuff. 

The sound waves stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms, enhancing blood circulation and cell regeneration in the shoulder. It can disrupt scar tissue and calcifications, which often contribute to impingement pain and mobility issues, making it a viable option for those seeking relief from chronic shoulder conditions.

Benefits of shockwave therapy for shoulder impingement include:

  • Pain Reduction: The therapy can help decrease nerve sensitivity and reduce pain signals sent to the brain.
  • Increased Mobility: By breaking down adhesions and calcifications, shockwave therapy can enhance the range of motion in the shoulder.
  • Enhanced Healing: It promotes collagen production, which is essential in repairing damaged rotator cuff tendons.
  • Non-invasive Treatment: As a non-invasive therapy, it offers a quicker recovery time with no need for anesthesia or medications.
  • Tissue Regeneration: Shockwave therapy encourages tissue healing and regeneration, potentially reducing the likelihood of future injuries.

Comparing Shockwave Therapy to Other Treatments for Shoulder Impingement

When considering the array of options for shoulder impingement relief, shockwave therapy stands out due to its non-invasiveness and lack of requirement for medication or surgery. 

Physical therapy is often the first line of defense, focusing on strengthening and flexibility but may take time to show benefits. Steroid injections offer quick pain relief but don’t address the underlying cause and can weaken tissues with repeated use. Surgery, though potentially definitive, comes with risks and a significant recovery period. Shockwave therapy, by contrast, targets the source of pain and facilitates natural healing with fewer side effects, presenting itself as a compelling alternative for those seeking an effective and less aggressive treatment. 

What to Expect During a Shockwave Therapy Session for Shoulder Impingement

Shockwave Therapy for Shoulder Impingements


A typical shockwave therapy session for shoulder impingement is relatively quick, usually lasting around 15-20 minutes. Patients may experience a tapping sensation and, depending on the intensity, mild discomfort during the procedure. It’s a safe and straightforward treatment with no downtime, allowing patients to return to their daily activities almost immediately. 

After the session, healthcare providers may recommend light stretching or modified activities to support shoulder recovery. As each case varies, the total number of sessions and full recovery time can differ, but many patients report improvement after just a few treatments.

FAQs on Shockwave Therapy for Shoulder Impingement

Is shockwave therapy painful?

Shockwave therapy typically causes minimal discomfort. Some patients may experience a slight tapping sensation and a bit of discomfort during the treatment due to the high-energy acoustic waves being applied, but this is generally well-tolerated.

Can shockwave therapy prevent the need for shoulder surgery?

In some cases, shockwave therapy can reduce the necessity for shoulder surgery by promoting natural healing and recovery of the shoulder impingement. However, its ability to replace surgical intervention varies based on the individual’s specific condition and response to the therapy.

How long does it take to see results from shockwave therapy?

Results from shockwave therapy can vary, but many patients report feeling improvement after just a few sessions. Generally, the therapeutic effects may continue to improve over several weeks following the treatment course.

The Best Shockwave Therapy for Shoulder Impingments

Are you looking for safe, reliable, and effective relief from shoulder impingement?

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 shoulder impingement, 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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