Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Foot FAQ


I've had months and months of pain in my heel. The doctor says I have Achilles' tendinitis. I've tried drugs, therapy, exercises, massage, rest, and cortisone injections. I'm thinking about going for the new shock wave therapy next. Are there any side effects from this treatment?


Studies using low energy sound waves to treat tendinitis have reported a variety of possible problems from time to time. These have included pain during and right after the treatment. Sweating, dizziness, and tremor can occur.

Some patients had a skin reaction at the site of the treatment. Reddening and bruising may occur because the blood vessels dilate (open wide) for a little while in response to the treatment. Any skin changes are mild and short-term.

Muscle soreness, cramps, and spasms or joint stiffness near the treated area have also been reported. All of these side effects are mild and don't last more than 24 to 48 hours.

M. L. Costa, FRCS (Tr and Orth), et al. Shock Wave Therapy for Chronic Achilles Tendon Pain. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. No. 440. Pp. 199-204.

*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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