ESWT - New treatment for tendon and joint pain at Spire Harpenden Hospital

What is extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT)?

ESWT is an exciting new non-invasive procedure carried out in our out-patients department. No anaesthetic, medication or surgery is required.

"Fewer potential complications and a faster return to normal activity”

The sound waves promoted during the treatment stimulate healing for many physical disorders including plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis and shoulder calcification.

How does ESWT work?

  • A shockwave is generated in the hand piece  
  • The shockwave is delivered to the tissue via a compressed air impulse exerted by the hand piece 
  • The shockwave radiates out, extending to the entire area where pain occurs  
  • Usually no more than 3-4 sessions are needed  
  • Per session : approximately 2500 impulses at 2.5 bars and 4000 impulses for trigger point treatment  
  • No anaesthetic is required  
  • No surgery or other therapy is required and treatment can usually start straight away


  • Tennis elbow - painful inflammation of the tendon attachment on the lateral elbow 
  • Shoulder tendinopathy especially calcific Tendinitis - painful limitation of shoulder movement due to calcification  
  • Golfer’s elbow - painful inflammation of the tendon attachment on the medial elbow  
  • Painful trigger points - acute and chronic pain in the back, shoulder, neck etc due to permanently shortened and thickened muscles  
  • Jumper’s knee (patellar tendinopathy) - inflammation of the point of attachment of the patellar ligament  
  • Shin splints - inflammation of the tibial edge due to excessive strain  
  • Achilles tendinopathy - painful irritation of the Achilles tendon  
  • Plantar fasciitis (heel) - painful, mostly chronic inflammation of the plantar fascia  
  • Chronic enthesopathies - painful irritation of tendon attachments due to overexertion or improper strain, or due to degenerative processes

At Spire Harpenden Hospital we use the Swiss Dolorclast ESWT machine - what’s the advantage?

  • No anaesthesia  
  • Non invasive  
  • No medication 
  • No surgery  
  • Fast treatment – 30 minutes per session, 3-4 sessions required  
  • Fewer complications  
  • Virtually painless after treatment  
  • Speedy recovery and quick results

“ESWT offers two main advantages over traditional surgical methods: fewer potential complications and a faster return to normal activity.”

How much does ESWT treatment cost?

You will require an initial consultation to ascertain if you are suitable for this treatment. If you have private medical insurance, speak to your insurance company as many treatments are covered by insurance.

If you wish to pay for your own treatment, we have a fixed priced of £900 for the treatment. The number of treatments you will need will be agreed with you in advance by your consultant.

For more information about prices - or to book an appointment - call us on 01582 714420 or enquire online.

Our orthopaedic surgeons offering ESWT at Spire Harpenden

Consultant orthopaedic surgeons and Consultant podiatric surgeon who carry out shock wave therapy at Spire Harpenden Hospital

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