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Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy, or extracorporeal shock wave therapy, is an innovative non-invasive method for the treatment of localized musculoskeletal pain. Since the early 1990's, German investigators have studied the use of shock waves for the treatment of painful musculoskeletal disorders.

Chronic pain associated with tendinitis of the shoulder, elbow, knee, and foot was first treated. Initially, these treatments were administered by modified kidney stone lithotripters. However this was often cumbersome since the kidney stone devices were not designed to treat multiple areas of the body in many different positions. In addition, the kidney stone lithotripters usually delivered relatively high-energy shock waves.

Treatment with these devices therefore was painful and required regional or general anesthesia. It soon became apparent that treatment with lower energy shock waves (much lower than those used to treat kidney stones) was effective in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain. These findings led to the development of the SonocurĀ®, a variable energy shock wave machine made specifically by SIEMENS Medical Systems for the treatment of tendinopathies and other specific types of localized painful musculoskeletal conditions.

The Sonocur® Orthopedic Extracorporeal Shockwave system is available in Canada and other countries where regulatory approval has been obtained. The Sonocur® Basic is FDA approved in the United States for the treatment of chronic lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow).

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