Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)

Coverage decision

L&I does not cover ESWT for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. The studies on ESWT do not conclusively show the therapy's effectiveness for treating plantar fasciitis or lateral epicondylitis. In addition, the FDA has not approved ESWT devices to treat calcific tendonitis or fractures.

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is designed to use low or high-energy ultrasound waves to initiate the following processes:

  • Structural changes on tissue.
  • Stimulation of bone growth.
  • Stimulation of the regenerative process in tissue.
  • Structural changes in calcium deposits followed by reabsorption of the calcium by the body.

PDF icon March 2004 ESWT technology assessment (221 KB PDF),
PDF icon January 2003 ESWT technology assessment (1300 KB PDF)


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