Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


My doctor has suggested we try a special shock wave therapy for the build-up of calcium in my shoulder. Are there any side effects from this treatment?


Shock waves created by strong sound energy pulses have been found to work in the treatment of kidney stones, plantar fasciitis, and tendinitis such as tennis elbow. It can also be used to treat calcium deposits called calcific tendinitis. An ESWT device generates shock waves or acoustical pulses to the targeted area. There may be no negative side effects. Minor skin bruising, reddening, and swelling around the treated area are possible. Many of these effects go away after a little while. Patients have also reported pain right after the treatment. Nausea, sweating, and dizziness can occur. Muscle pain and muscle tension near the treated area have been reported. Joint stiffness, muscle cramps, and muscle spasm are also possible. Most side effects are mild and go away in 24 to 48 hours. There don't seem to be any long-term or permanent negative effects. Manuel Sabeti-Aschraf, MD, et al. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy in the Treatment of Calcific Tendinitis of the Rotator Cuff. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. September 2005. Vol. 33. No. 9. Pp. 1365-1368.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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