Use of radial shock wave therapy by professional athletes

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Are you active athlete and you are troubled by overloaded muscles? Do you feel pain after training or you are in a treatment for a longer period of time and the results are not fast or satisfying? In this article we will try to explain your the approach towards the radial therapy of the musculoskeletal system on professional athletes from the point of view of sports medicine doctor Sabine Arentz from Germany.

Sabine Arentz, from Sportmedizinisches institute Frankfurt - institute of sports medicine in Frankfurt, was responsible for the health care of the german national team on the trampoline world championship in 2007 in Canada. Muscle pain along with attachment pain and sometimes even chronic underweight, are typical in this branch of sport. Limbs and back along with the spine are under a great pressure. Apart from the classical sports medicine and rehabilitation measures, Sabine Arentz used Masterpuls MP50 - radial shock wave (RSWT) from Storz Medical. Radial shockwave therapy was successfully used on 7 of 13 competitioners.


  • The competitor with irritated iliotibial tract (strong ligament band going from hip joint to the knee joint) received the shock wave application in the evening before the first competition. Sabine used intensity of 1,6 bars, 2500 waves. The second treatment was applied 2 days later, in the evening before the final competition, with intensity 1,8 bars and 2500 waves.
  • Second competitor felt pain in the right iliotibial tract, in addition he had two years old fracture of the patella, the leg was treated every evening before the competition with intensity 1,8 bars and 2500 waves.
  • During the competition had several other athletes problems with their backs, especially in the back extensors. They were consequently diagnosed with myofascial trigger points on both sides of the spine, (alongside the spine). The muscles alongside the spine were treated before every competition, with 2000-3000 waves and intensity of about 1,6 - 2,6 bars.
  • In the beginning of the competition, one of the competitors complained about the pain in the attachment of the left knee joint. It was treated with one application, 2500 waves with intensity of about 1,4 bars.
  • Gymnast who was diagnosed with cyst in her right knee, was complaining about tension feeling in her right knee joint, which was only worsening with stretching of the muscle, and extension of the leg. Before the competition she received 2 applications of shockwave therapy, 2500 waves with intensity of 1,8 bars.
  • Athletes who were complaining about pain in coming from the iliotibial tract (strong ligamentous band going from hip joint to the knee joint), were treated three times with the shockwave therapy, in the evening before the competition, always 3000 waves with intensity 2,6 or 2,8 bars.


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All the athletes responded that they noticed improvement in the painful condition and the effect appeared in very short amount of time on the VAS (visual analogue scale). Analgesic effect was noticed especially after the treatment, and the confidence of the gymnasts in the therapy was therefore significantly increased. If the application of the shock wave is in lower intensity, there is no occurrence of hematoma, which could restrict the athlete. Worsened pain, unwanted effects and intolerance didn’t occur. The general positive effect of the radial shockwave therapy and high rate of positive response by the athletes were also documented.


Masterpuls MP50 is portable radial shock wave (RWT) from company Storz Medical. It offers high level of flexibility and thanks to its compact construction it takes just a little space. RWT is used in professional sport as a very convenient and modern additional treatment method. The radial shock wave is very safe and it has a huge therapeutic effect in care of professional athletes. The priceless positive of the RWT is, that the use of medicaments is significantly reduced. With that, the athletes can avoid being accused of doping. Radial shock wave has become integral part of the health care in a sport competition of the professional athletes.

 Mgr. Iva Bílková, FYZIOklinika fyzioterapie Ltd, Prague, Czech Republic

Source: Silke Helfmeyer, “Kombinierte Stosswellentherapie. Das Ziel: Schnell wieder die volle Sportfähigkeit herstellen”, Medicalsports network 01/10'

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