ESWT – A new, affordable and promising therapy for you?

ESWT stands for “Extra-corporeal Shock Wave Therapy”.

Radial ESWT generator deliveiing shock waves to an elbow bursitis (Radial ESWT generator delivering shock waves to an elbow bursitis.)

Do you have chronic joint or tissue pain that is continuing and has not adequately responded to therapies or treatment? Do you want faster recovery from an injury? For example, do you have painful arthritis in a joint and no way to slow the degeneration or stop it?  Have Frozen Shoulder, Plantar Fascitis or knee pain? Do you want to try something highly effective and “new” (at least, new to us)? This FDA-approved therapy can apply to many types of problems. This link is a special promotion for our patients as we add a new technology proven to increase the rate of healing.

While it is always exciting to add a new therapy in my practice, it is even more rewarding when the modality has such undeniably impressive results that can add improvement possibilities for so many conditions.

From the Journal of Clinical Orthopedic Trauma, “Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) – while around for over 10 years – has become a popular non-invasive therapeutic modality in the field of orthopedics and traumatology for the treatment of many musculoskeletal disorders, including problematic soft tissue wounds.” ESWT can provide safe, fast and effective pain relief and regenerative healing, without surgery, cortisone or needles. Bone repair, tendon repair, Tissue regeneration and healing can continue over 3-4 months – even up to 18 months post-treatment.

Here are some testimonials about our newest added therapy, ESWT or “Shock Wave Therapy”. This concept is sometimes referred to as “Stem Cell” or “Stem Wave” or “Soft Wave” Therapy (although those are expensive trademarks and we do not call it that).

TVV: Amazing – I was limping for months when Dr. Sibilla sent me for a knee X-ray showing severe osteoarthritis.  This treatment took the pain away almost 100% on my first session and is allowing me to function fully. I did six treatments and I go back for installments when I need them.  I have now started having work on the shoulder which was limited after a ski injury and using a heavy tool bag at work.  This is a game changer.

BDL: I had frozen shoulder as a side effect of menopause and following a shoulder overstretch injury during exercise.  Nothing was working. The shock wave therapy allowed me to reach my bra strap in the back and was highly effective and easy.  15 minutes and I can be done and back into my day.

TP: Totally great. I have seen over the past months that this has really added alot to my recovery even after surgery. Exciting that it makes healing even better. 

A Therapy that can Stand Alone

In a chiropractic clinic most often you can receive joint or soft tissue manipulations to help correct problems. Those corrections are intended to restore normal function or positioning, and then we want the body to be able to maintain that correction. Ultimately, it relies on the body. So what more can we do to help the body?

As you may know, Blue Heron Chiropractic and Dr. Dana Sibilla are an Advanced Practice chiropractic clinic, with Dr. Sibilla being a chiropractic orthopedist and neuro-muscular-skeletal medicine specialist.

At Blue Heron, we add “adjunctive” therapies to chiropractic manipulation, from an Orthopedic perspective. You may recognize these physiotherapies as therapeutic ultrasound, therapeutic massage, e-stim, or even Cold Laser or Graston myofascial release.

I would like to introduce a new advanced therapy modality to you, “Shock Wave Therapy”, that may represent a reasonably large significant addition for you.  So in this case, we can apply this therapy alone in a 15 minute session, or with other therapies you can choose.


ESWT stands for Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy. This means shock waves coming from outside the body, projected and conducted into a joint or tissue (RSWT stands for Radial Shock Wave Therapy, and is a delivery format for ESWT). The shock waves are sound and force, and start a process creating beneficial changes at the tissue level.

The shock wave is created by an electric signal triggering a mechanism that creates a “snapping sound” or impulse, the force of which is transmitted into the tissue through a water bladder and conductive ultrasound gel. This shock wave pulse is adjusted to have a specific depth, intensity, frequency and duration, specific for the area and the problem (“the Protocol”). The results are all about the Protocols.

Injuries and dysfunctional tissue tends to be “disorganized” – this treatment activates the mechanism to “reorganize” the tissue (the stem cells in the body know how to do this when activated). The image above is a depiction of a radial shock wave being transmitted into an elbow, helping to improve circulation and decrease pain in a case of bursitis.

The treatment is non invasive, but can reach deep inside tissues and structures, like joints, to activate the restorative properties in the tissue, such as circulation and stem cell activation. Basically, besides increasing circulation, the shock wave disrupts disorganized tissue altered by injury or pathology, and activates the body to reorganize the tissue the way it was designed to be. That’s how stem cell activation works.

This therapy can have reasonably dramatic positive results that can be seen almost right away, often right at the time of first treatment; patients report Pain reduction, more range of motion, and improved function. The regenerative activation then provides long-lasting results.

It is suggested then, for example, that in cases such as unresponsive, incurable Osteoarthritis, that this treatment could:
– Slow down the degeneration
– Reduce inflammation and decrease pain
– Increase circulation
– Dissolve the disorganized tissue
– Activate the body’s mechanism to replace proper (reorganized) cartilage or tissue.

Here is a video from Physiopedia of a provider delivering ESWT/RSWT to a case of plantar fascitis. It’s very similar to what we do, but we have expanded on these protocols and our system of application has ways (like a water bladder) of making the therapy even more tolerable and usable in deeper areas. Compared to this one, our system will probably be slower and we will be using a conduction gel which does an even better job of getting the signals where we want them to go.

What we are offering:

Li-ESWT (Low Intensity Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy) using a non-focused (radial) ESWT (RSWT) shock wave impulse generator delivered through a water bladder for comfort.
– 3, 6  or 12 treatments, lasting 15 minutes each for optimal results.   During the intro session, we will “Map” and scan your issue area in order to best target the area of interest.
– Cost: Same as a basic bundled chiropractic appointment (but this is not a basic chiropractic appointment): $75 per session (late 2023 proposal pricing). No pre-pay commitment required.
– The treatment sounds a lot like someone snapping their fingers loudly and repeatedly, and feels like a deep, dull impulse. Patients typically report that, while occasionally “annoying”, it is not painful.
– Sound-damping headphones are available used for “sound sensitive” patients.
– Research suggests this treatment can be even more effective when we add in eccentric stretching and excerises. This is at your option.
– Self-Pay only. ESWT therapy is not covered by insurance (but the re-exam for reactivating patients may be a covered service – ask us).
– Some patients, with Cancer, auto-immune inflammatory cases, infections, or special sensitivities are not candidates for this; we will screen you on your first session and talk about options.

What this machine is and is not:  It is not a “miracle cure”, although it can activate healing and improve function in ways that can seem miraculous – even when other attempts, like cortisone injections, may have failed.  It is a radial RSWT machine, not a focused FSWT Stemwave or Softwave machine (both are trademarks of machines with very expensive ad campaigns), but really produces very similar results at a fraction of the expense, in a simple treatment that is basically identical and can yield indistinguishable great results.  Different from the others, it is affordable. Again, despite some of them saying they are, this is not a miracle cure. It is simply a great modality with exceptional results when applied properly. Again, it is all about the protocols, and we are optimizing them all the time. Come check it out.

ACTIVE / INACTIVE PATIENTS. If you are an active patient, there is no required full re-exam to reactivate you (although sometimes this is in your best interest and we can talk about that). If you are not active, as in not seen within the last year, we do need to do a re-exam visit and get all our diagnoses and details up to date.

REACTIVATION “PROMOTION”: for the purposes of this promotion, if your insurance does not cover a re-exam), we are willing to provide a re-exam to reactivate you, at the same cost as a basic bundled treatment or your first shock wave treatment ($75).  There is no commitment required. 

Call now (503) 280-9759 and ask to discuss this therapy with Doctor Sibilla.