Health & Wellness

Shockwave Therapy - Arthritis/Bursitis/Bone Spurs?

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  • Jul 17th, 2017 6:01 pm
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Nov 23, 2010
1057 posts

Shockwave Therapy - Arthritis/Bursitis/Bone Spurs?

I was curious if anyone around here has tried shockwave therapy?

Its administered through a physiotherapist though its a mark up from their usual rates.

I have a bone spur/bursitis on my heel and was wondering if this would help break up some of the bony build up. Also have a relative with osteoarthritis in her knee that is curious about this too.

I googled around and it sounds a bit too good to be true.
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Jun 18, 2017
218 posts
If you want to do a >LOT< of reading this guy has a pretty compelling (to me) article: ... ve-merits/

He doesn't address whether he thinks it'll work, instead he examines the scientific literature published about it. It's a long read (but engaging), but of the 7 major "double blind" studies he finds that 5 of them have a financial conflict of some kind (funded by equipment makers, authors having a financial interest, etc.) and 2 of them do not have a conflict. Bizarrely the 5 studies that found the treatment useful were the ones with the financial conflict, and the other 2 concluded "no benefit". He limits his examination to specifically plantar warts studies, but his theory is that if someone is funding junk science in this respect for shock wave they'd probably be doing it overall.

My gut feel (not being a doctor, scientist, or even someone who has ever suffered from the many things they say it can be applied to) is that it might be, as you say, too good to be true. Ultrasonic frequency stuff is proven in some pretty niche uses, like breaking up kidney stones (non-cystine) that make a lot of sense. Kidney stones aren't bone spurs though, in that they are a hard mass floating around in a bunch of soft tissue. Spurs are usually a hard mass attached to another hard mass, so I'd wonder how they could target just say, the spur portion for this kind of treatment. B-Reddy is kind of internet-famous for being a snarky straight shooter, though I should stress he's not a doctor either, he's a physio-therapist who specializes in skeletal muscular recovery and training.
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