Shockwave Therapy for Calcific Tendonitis

Independent research going back nearly twenty years has demonstrated why shockwave treatment for Calcific Tendonitis has become an effective therapy and an alternative to invasive surgery.

Calcific tendonitis of the shoulder occurs when tendons become swollen and irritated due to a build up of calcium. This can restrict the range of movement of the shoulder and cause pain there as well as in the arm and neck.

The predominant ages for suffering from Calcific Tendonitis are 30 to 50 years and twice as likely in women than men.

Signs & Symptoms of Calcific Tendonitis

Over time, calcific tendinitis can make movement painful (especially in the morning) and can wake you during a night making it hard for you to sleep. It might hurt to lift your arm and can limit your range of movement. Patients often complain of weakness, snapping and catching of the shoulder

calcific tendonitis shockwave therapy.
A. 55 years old female. B. After three sessions of shockwave treatment. With grateful thanks to the International Journal of Surgery for permission to use this X-ray image.

What Happens During Shockwave Therapy for Calcific Tendonitis?

Please arrive at the clinic wearing casual clothes. During shock wave therapy, high-intensity sound waves are sent to the the shoulder to break down the calcium which is reabsorbed into the body. Additionally, the shockwaves have numerous beneficial effects such as the ingrowth of new blood vessel, the reversal of chronic inflammation and the stimulation of new tissue growth.

How We Apply Shockwave Therapy for Calcific Tendonitis

We will isolate the area that needs to be treated and use a gel to transfer the acoustic waves efficiently and smoothly. Rather than the regular gels that some practitioners use, we now advocate and use castor oil as the medium between the shockwave equipment and the patient for many of our shockwave procedures. We have found that the little pain that our patients feel is reduced when we use castor oil. Then using our focussed shockwave equipment, we will start sending gentle impulses to the area. Discomfort will be kept to a minimum and gradually the impulses will become more intense, although little pain will be felt and if it is it will gradually dissipate over a few days.

How Long Will the Shockwave Therapy Take to Work?

Generally, shockwave for Calcific Tendonitis and shoulder pain will resolve after three to four sessions, depending on your condition and how long you may have suffered with it before seeing us, while early diagnosis can reduce the number of sessions needed.

As part of your treatment it is important that you work with your physical therapist to ensure that you have an exercise regime and massage to ensure full recovery.

We are one of the few shockwave therapy specialist clinics in the UK with the expertise of treating Calcific Tendonitis using the latest Swiss engineered focussed shockwave equipment. We undertake this in conjunction with a course of physiotherapy to aid the outcome of the treatment.

To find out more, or to book a free consultation or an appointment, contact us now – or better still call us right away to discuss your problem:  Tel: 020 3609 0080.


This study concluded that shock wave therapy is equivalent to keyhole surgery, and so shock wave therapy should be preferred because of its non-invasiveness.

This study has shown the efficiency of the treatment with radial ESWT. 

The evidence collected indicates that Radial Extracorporeal Shock-wave Therapy (RESWT) is the method of choice.