Does Shockwave Therapy Work?

Let’s see if I can write this post without any talk about the horrors going on in the real world.

When I got Valley Fever at the very end of September 2020, I whined a couple of times on this blog about my shoulder getting very bad at the same time. In fact, I might always wonder if my flu shot caused the damage. Before you laugh, that’s a real thing. Vaccines can cause bursitis, calcifications, and all manner of painful shoulder issues. In my case, when I finally got an xray, I was diagnosed with both rotator cuff calcification and frozen shoulder.  The reason it took months to get the diagnosis was that with Valley Fever I was terrified of getting Covid. They both tend to look the same on a lung xray, and at my age, I really didn’t want that double whammy.

After the diagnosis I began physical therapy and attended dutifully for almost three months. Then I kept doing the exercises for several months afterward. Surgery wasn’t the best situation for me because of another health issue. But then the shoulder pain began to increase again instead of decrease.

Bottom line about physical therapy: it completely unfroze my shoulder, so that’s a good thing. But it did nothing for the calcification, which was in a particularly painful spot. This pain went on for 1 1/2 years.

This winter I found a sports doctor who believes in non-surgical alternatives. I was specifically looking for someone who could prescribe shockwave therapy. I’d read online about it, and it sounded very promising. When I saw the doctor I found out that he had had the treatment himself and swore by it. I also discovered that he only recommended one place in the entire state of Arizona. It was luckily in the greater Phoenix area.

I went 4 times. Two times I had treatments by one therapist, then the 3rd and 4th were by a second therapist. I could tell immediately that she was more powerful in her administration of the therapy. After the 4th treatment I started feeling a lot better, but was still uncertain about the outcome. However, daughter’s wedding was coming up and I wanted to hibernate for a couple of weeks ahead of time so that I didn’t get Covid and miss the wedding.

Guess what happened? Those treatments had broken up the calcification. Over that two week period they were absorbed into my body. My shoulder is now completely better.

This is my testimonial for shockwave therapy. Why won’t insurance companies cover it? Is it because somebody is making money off all those shoulder surgeries?

I’m not a doctor of medicine (just literature which has a different sort of healing power haha), so this is just my story. From my story, my cautions would be to only get shockwave therapy under the supervision of a medical doctor and licensed physical therapist with shockwave training, not at an alternative medicine office of any kind. Read a lot online about it. Be sure never to get shockwave therapy in areas of the body where there is danger (again, research and doctor’s script).


Next Monday I’ll be at the workshop in Tucson, so I won’t be posting. I’m excited because the other nonfiction entries have been good reading, so I think the interaction at the workshop should be a good one.

I’ve been #amwriting, #amreading, and #amrevising lately, although not too much of any of them. Just enough to keep me going. My focus has been off because of “world events,” and I am trying to be kind to myself.

That means arty junk journaling :). Here’s a video of a journal I just finished. It’s not one of my favorites, but some of the pages are decent. And I painted it in pale pink after the war started because somehow that color was calling to me.

Here is a reminder that spring is here, and the birds don’t know about all the horrors around the world. They are in “tryst” mode.


Make it a good week in the world around you!


Filed under #amreading, #amrevising, #amwriting, #AmWriting, art journaling, Memoir, Nonfiction, Tucson Festival of Books, Writers Conference, writing workshop

50 responses to “Does Shockwave Therapy Work?

  1. I never heard of that but it sure sounds promising. I don’t have any joint issues but my sis-in-law does from time to time. I’m going to check if they have it locally. We have a HUGE orth group that has a lot of cutting edge treatments so maybe they do it.

    • Yes, that would be wonderful if they do offer it. There is quite a bit online where people think it helps a lot, so it’s a mystery why even medicare doesn’t cover it. it wasn’t prohibitively expensive, mainly because I didn’t need that many treatments and I scheduled them two weeks apart.

  2. I’m happy your shoulder is doing better, Luanne. “Why won’t insurance companies cover it? Is it because somebody is making money off all those shoulder surgeries?” I believe so. I don’t think insurance or pharmaceutical companies want patients to get well…it’s all about money. I’m glad you found the right doctor. It pays to do our own research.

    • it’s so necessary to do our own medical research. I know a lot medical professionals frown on it, but they obviously don’t realize how chaotic our path to medical care can be.

  3. Always good hearing from you, Luanne. I have a friend with shoulder issues. I’ll refer her to your post.
    Have a great week!

    • Thanks, Elaine. I wonder if NM has a good place that offers it. I am appalled that there is only one truly legit place in the state of AZ.

  4. So glad your shoulder is better. I have cuff problems and know it can be painful.

    • Maybe you could look into this! Yes, I was told that rotator cuff pain is considered one of the worst. My biggest calcification was like a “diamond” as it was explained to me sitting right at the tip of my shoulder where every tiny movement dragged tissue across that jagged crystal. I am sooooooooo happy that pain is gone. I suppose it could come back–happened once, could happen again–but now I know what to do!

  5. I’m so happy for you that the treatment worked, Luanne!
    It has been difficult to focus in the last few weeks (and years) with all that’s going on, but yes, spring and birds.
    I hope the workshop is wonderful!

  6. I’ve never heard of this shockwave therapy and happy that it helped you. Anything nonsurgical seems like a good way to go when you can. Enjoy your workshop. I trust you’ll return here with lots of great tips.

  7. Hurrah for healing without surgery!

  8. So glad to hear the good results for your shoulder, Luanne! Have not heard of that therapy before as treatment for calcification. So wonderful.

  9. Wonderful news about your shoulder, Luanne! Thank you for letting us know. I hope your workshop is wonderful and gives you a bit of a respite from the world situation.

  10. I’m so glad to hear that the shockwave therapy worked out for you. As for the journal, you must have had a lot of happy hours making that, and it looks great. Lots of memories in it too, I bet.

  11. I’ve not heard of that therapy so just looked it up and see it is also offered by osteopaths here in Oz. Something to keep in mind if I ever need it. And I’m so pleased to hear it has relieved your pain. The art journaling is wonderful too.
    By the way, my Aussie girlfriend living in Texas tells me horror stories about your medical system. Ours is not perfect, but healthcare is available to all regardless of whether they hold private insurance.
    Having said that, I must acknowledge remote Aboriginal communities are getting the short end of the stick, and are often dependent on being airlifted to major hospitals, and the availability of aircraft and crews.

    • Our native people find it more difficult, too. Our insurance system is deeply flawed. Attempts to fix it have bungled it even more imo. Most of the problems are caused by human greed. Osteopaths in the U S are now part of the regular medical system for the most part. A bit interchangeable especially in primary care and even cardiology.

  12. How wonderful that your shoulder has been rejuvenated! I enjoy watching you page through your art journals. They are so intense and creative.

  13. So glad you’re better. My husband has a calcium buildup in his throat. I wonder if it would work for that. Right now they want to do surgery. Ugh.

    • Oh my. Spend some time online searching appropriate areas of the body. It seems like the throat could be dangerous. Although it seems like a vibration, in a way, it’s quite painful. I know the heart is off limits, for instance, but there are more areas off limits, too. My best to your husband.

  14. Amy

    So glad that it worked! I have heard of it as my podiatrist considered it for my foot but ultimately decided it wasn’t the right treatment for what ails me. Unfortunately nothing seems to be….

  15. So glad that your shoulder is better! I love your art journal! I think it is fabulous! I might try one some time because yours is so inspiring. I like that it is a mix of so many things…and yet, they all work together. 🙂 I hope you have fun at your workshop!

  16. Thanks for writing about shockwave therapy. I’m so glad it’s working for you. Enjoy your time in Tucson!

  17. Wow! What great news re: your shoulder! Also your ongoing creativity on multiples fronts. You are in a beautiful place! I hope you enjoyed the workshop.

  18. I am so pleased your shoulder is better, Luanne! Years and years ago I had electric shock treatment (as it was called then) on both my feet. I have had rheumatoid arthritis since my mid-twenties and this treatment was given me when I was about thirty years old. I thought it was wonderful, though it was uncomfortable while it was being done. For a few days after the treatment my feet felt like they had done before the arthritis and I could walk really easily. I don’t think they offer this treatment any more which is sad as I’d ask for it again now that I also have osteo-arthritis and my feet are quite painful. I also used a TENs machine for pain-relief when I went into labour with my younger daughter. It is amazing what a little electricity can do.
    I hope you enjoy the workshop tomorrow!

  19. I’ve just booked an appointment with a physiotherapist for the pain in my shoulder and hip. I’ll talk to her about shock therapy. Glad to have this information. Thanks, Luanne. Have fun at your workshop.

  20. I’m glad you got some relief from your pain Luanne. Hope you enjoyed the workshop.

  21. Hiya Luanne! So happy that special therapy worked for you completely!! Love your journal, so evocative… Sweet lovebirds pic!
    My news: I’m participating in a 6-part workshop on Zoom called “Pitching on Paper.” The facilitator is a producer, helping a dozen writers like me to each prepare a fetching proposal for a TV show/series. I love it, session 3 is tonight. Facilitator’s name is Jennifer McAuley, very legit – I looked her up on the IMDb.

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