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Shoulder calcification shockwave treatment.

Shoulder Calcification Shockwave Treatment

Shoulder calcification is a common disorder of the rotator cuff and is characterised by deposits of hydroxyapatite (a crystalline calcium phosphate) in the tendons of the rotator cuff (shoulder), causing pain and inflammation. Typically, it affects more women than men with the peak incidence being between 50 and 60 years of age.

The pain of shoulder calcification is felt over the deltoid muscle area around the shoulder and may spread down the arm towards the elbow or wrist. The pain can be made worse by lying on the affected side or by trying to elevate the arm.

Shockwave Therapy & Shoulder Calcification

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) for calcific tendonitis was first used in Germany and Austria in 1992 and since then Shockwave therapy of calcific tendinopathy has been proven to be a clinically effective non-invasive treatment option. 

In the images below, on the left you can see the original calcification on a middle aged man and on the right the shoulder after four weeks of shockwave therapy.

Shoulder calcification shockwave treatment.

Shock wave therapy is used to induce fragmentation of the hard hydroxyapatite crystals. In some studies, 30 to 70% of patients obtained pain relief, while in 20 to 77% of cases the calcific deposit was reabsorbed or disintegrated. Other studies have shown that in 95% of treated patients, the treatment results have been good to excellent.

The use of shockwave therapy for calcific tendinopathy is well supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

To find out more about how we can help you, or to book a free consultation or an appointment, contact us now, or better still call us right away to discuss your problem Tel: 020 8549 6666

Clinical Research into Shoulder Calcification Shockwave Treatment

A number of clinical trials have been undertaken to research the effectiveness of Shoulder Calcification Shockwave Treatment.

Schmitz et al (2015) conducted a systematic review “Efficacy and safety of extracorporeal shock wave therapy for orthopaedic conditions” and the results of this extensive study reported shockwave to be a safe treatment technique for treating tendinopathy throughout the body.

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for the Treatment of Chronic Calcifying Tendonitis of the Rotator Cuff – A Randomized Controlled Trial  Concluded that both high-energy and low-energy ESWT appeared to provide a beneficial effect on shoulder function, as well as on self-rated pain and diminished size of calcifications, compared with placebo. Furthermore, high-energy ESWT appeared to be superior to low-energy ESWT.

Radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy in the treatment of shoulder calcific tendinitis. Avancini-Dobrovid et al. Coll Antropol, Sept 2011.

  • Clinical trial (no randomisation or control group)
  • 30 patients with calcific shoulder tendinitis received ESWT once a week for max 3-5 weeks.
  • There was significant improvement of pain, shoulder ROM and muscle strength, which was maintained at 6 months follow-up.
  • X-rays showed significant reduction of calcifications size.