Effects of Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy on Tendinopathies: A Systematic Literature Review

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      This literature review aims to look at the state of evidence among previous systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials examining the effects of ESWT on tendinopathies of the upper and lower limbs.

      Data Sources

      Systematic literature between 2011-2021 in the databases of PubMed, PEDro Database, Ovid, CINAHL, Cochrane, EBSCO between May 3 to 15, 2021.

      Study Selection

      Criteria for: randomized controlled trials - full text available, PEDro score > 6, and conducted in the past 10 years systematic reviews - full text available, inclusion criteria available, with both pain and functional outcome measures, and conducted in the past 10 years

      Data Extraction

      Eight randomized controlled trials with a total of 452 subjects met quality guidelines using the PEDro scale. 12 systematic reviews with a total of 12,063 subjects met methodological guidelines.

      Data Synthesis

      249 articles were screened, and 20 studies with a total population of n = 12,515 were included. With heterogeneity in frequency, dosage, and volume no meta-analysis was conducted. There were statistically significant improvements reported in terms of pain and function with ESWT on tendinopathies in 14 studies (n= 8,537). On the other hand, no clinically significant differences were found in the use of ESWT in 3 studies (n=829), and no effects were found in 2 studies (n= 3,149).


      The results suggest that in the management of tendinopathies, the use of ESWT has a clinically significant effect on pain and functional outcomes. In conclusion, a review of current randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews presented evidence for ESWT for tendinopathies. While the use of ESWT may improve pain and functional outcome, further studies towards dosing and prescription is suggested.

      Author(s) Disclosures

      Dr. Baloy has no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.
      Mr. Chen has no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.


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