The evidence is in: Extracorporeal Shock Wave
Therapy (ESWT) plays a pivotal role in getting endurance runners back to
competition. Two patient case studies demonstrate that one undeniable
take-away. This thorough research study by physicians from Spaulding
Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, Adam Tenforde, M.D. and Julia
M. Reilly, M.D., documents how Radial Pressure Wave was successfully used to
treat two endurance runners. Discover how each athlete went from chronic,
debilitating tendinopathy to shock wave treatment to training again for
marathons within months. The complete study was published in the American Academy of
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is available for a full review.
therapy, what was the condition of the two athletes?
Prior to receiving shock wave therapy both
endurance runners exhibited clear signs of tendinopathy and accompanying pain,
swelling, and impaired performance symptoms. Take a look at the at-a-glance
patient details below:
- 25-year-old female marathon runner
- an atraumatic 3-month history of left greater than
right Achilles tendinopathy
- was preparing for Chicago Marathon
- had been running up to 110 km/wk
- pain on palpation
- thickening of midportion Achilles’ tendon, no discrete
tearing or retraction
- 25-year-old female ultramarathon runner
- 3-month history of atraumatic right proximal hamstring
- initially, she could run 64-80 km/wk
- developed pain while sitting and bending forward to
- focal tenderness to palpation over the proximal
- mild strength deficit with supine plank and 30 degrees
resisted hamstring curl
- intact strength with 90 degrees resisted hamstring curl
What treatment options were presented to the
Few interventions exist that allow athletes to
continue training throughout treatment. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy
(ESWT) offers athletes a safe method for expedited return to competition, with
little to no down time.
Runner A was offered PT and interventional
treatment of injection platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or prolotherapy or Radial
Pressure Wave Therapy, also known as EPAT (Extracorporeal Pulse Activation
Technology). Runner B’s options included PT along with EPAT, corticosteroid
injections, or PRP injections.
The trouble with injections is they require
athletes to modify and limit training for optimum results. Treatment with EPAT
has no such limitations, so it’s ideal for runners like those in the study who
wish to continue training throughout the treatment process.
Both runners expressed their desire to keep
training and eagerly selected shock wave therapy to be incorporated in their
What did the clinical outcome reveal about the
use of EPAT/ESWT therapy?
Radial pressure wave therapy facilitated
impressive outcomes for both featured athletes in the treatment of their
- Significant improvement in pain along with continued PT
- Ability to run 32 km per week following 1st treatment
- Completed Chicago Marathon 6-weeks after beginning
- Back to full training without pain 16 months after
- Noteworthy pain reduction
- Ability to run 12-15 km per training session while
- Four months after 1st treatment, she finished second in
the woman’s race over 100km at 23,000 ft elevation*
- Back to full training without pain 10 months after
Both runners expressed high satisfaction with
their treatment outcome.
How can regenerative EPAT/ESWT therapy help
runners get to the finish line with ease?
As the athletes featured in the study, there
is a noted preference among runners to stay on course with training throughout
injury or dysfunction treatment. EPAT makes this not only feasible but entirely
Added to the ever growing body of evidence,
these cases highlight the immeasurable value of using Extracorporeal Shock Wave
Therapy to treat athletes who desire to stay active in sport during treatment.
To learn more about how we can help keep you running call us at (630)961-1888