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Pulsewave therapy, also referred to as Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, was introduced in the field of medicine in 1982. The success of pulsewave therapy for treating kidney stones soon led to several clinical trials to test its efficacy for chronic pain and other medical conditions. In this respect, the therapy has shown significant benefits in healing soft tissue, fasciopathy, and lower and upper extremity tendinopathies.

doctor using pulsewave therapy on patient's knee

Understanding the Science



doctor using pulsewave therapy on patient's leg


Pulsewave is an effective, non-invasive therapy where a series of low or high-energy acoustic wave pulses are applied directly to the targeted area through the patient’s skin with a gel medium.


Cellular Regeneration

 By generating powerful pulse waves, the therapy initiates processes for biological regeneration, typically at the cellular level. The treatment applies frequent, short, and high-intensity bursts of energy into the injured, scarred, or inflamed tissue.

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It results in three specific types of responses. These are:

Physical: where the pulse waves hit tissue to generate positive pressure waves

Chemical Response: where the waves stimulate biochemical response mechanically, causing cell activation

Biological Response:  the cells are instructed to stimulate blood vessel remodeling and reduce inflammation of molecules to promote healthy and new tissue in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Altogether, the therapy targets deep-lying tissue resulting in wound healing and alleviating pain and tissue regeneration. The therapy’s efficacy can be backed by clinical studies published in One of the many studies from on the safety and effectiveness of pulsewave therapy showed a significant reduction in pain in tendinopathies of patients and improved quality of life. The reduction in musculoskeletal pain and improvement in functionality in patients increased by nearly two points after the shockwave treatment on the 5-point Likert scale.


Advantages & Benefits Compared to Steroid Injections

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Furthermore, pulsewave is safer than steroid injections. Steroid injections can weaken ligaments, tendon-bone attachments, and bones. Other side-effects of steroid injections are progressive arthritic changes, suppressed immune system, and inhibiting growth hormone.

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More Effective in Treating Plantar Fasciitis

Another study published in BMJ journals compared the two treatments for plantar fasciitis and concluded that pulsewave therapy is more effective. Pulsewave improved functionality and pain in patients with chronic plantar fasciitis. Moreover, the Foot Function Index (FFI) improvement was superior with pulsewave therapy.

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Long Term Clinical Improvement

Research shows that pulsewave therapy and local corticosteroid injections are practical and helpful in musculoskeletal pain reduction. However, pulsewave therapy is proven to offer more than pain reduction. It shows better long-term clinical improvement as it promotes the natural healing process in patients compared to steroid injections.

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woman playing tennis

Tennis Elbow

golfer experiencing arm pain

Golfer's Elbow

woman with aching foot

Plantar Fasciitis

energetic woman stretching arm during workout


woman measuring waist with tape measure

Weight Loss

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Therapeutic Effects

• Provides pain relief (the analgesic effect) and heals painful joints with no use of needles or surgery

• Has anti-inflammatory action such as decreased cellular apoptosis and necrosis and pro-inflammatory Response of the immune system

• Has antibacterial effect 

• Stimulates regeneration of tissue by inducing endogenous growth factors

• Promotes growth and natural anabolic functions in tissues (nerves, bones, skin, cartilage, and muscles)

doctor supporting patient's elbow
doctor using pulsewave therapy on patient's ankle

Additional Applications

• Tendinopathies (lower and upper extremities)

• Achilles Tendinopathy

• Bursitis

• Morton's Neuroma

• Non-union fractures or chronic stress

• Patellar Tendinosis or jumper's knee

• Calcific Tendonitis

At Redefined Hawaii, we specialize in pulsewave therapy. Our board-certified doctor can assess your condition to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for the treatment. The treatment is mainly performed once a week for three to six weeks.


The series of treatments varies depending on your condition, history and results achieved. Overall the procedure lasts about five minutes but can cause mild discomfort. For more information or assessment, schedule a consultation with our doctor today. 

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