Acoustic Wave Therapy

Full Function Chiropractic is proud to be one of, if not, the only musculoskeletal offices in Lycoming county to offer state-of-the art Acoustic Wave Therapy (AWT).   Sometimes referred to as radial wave therapy, pressure wave therapy, or non-focused shockwave therapy, AWT is designed to treat chronic soft tissue injuries that were previously non-responsive to other forms of conservative care.

How It Works:

When the body has been injured for a long period of time (typically greater than 6 months duration), the underlying tissue becomes very tight, weak, fibrotic (think scar tissue), and non-responsive to traditional treatment methods.  For the body to know we have an injury, the body must sense that something is wrong (pain and inflammation) and respond by sending different chemicals to the area to begin healing.  As the injury becomes worse and worse, this response slows down until you reach a point of no return.  This is where AWT come into play.

  The AWT machine uses a compressor to accelerate a “bullet” within the devices handle.  As the “bullet” oscillates back and forth, slamming into a diaphragm at the end of the device, it generates multiple pressure waves.  These pressure waves are then transferred, throughout a coupling gel, to the injured part of the body.  It is these pressures waves that essentially wake the body up.  As the waves bombard the injured tissue they create a low grade level of inflammatory.  In response to this inflammation, the body creates new blood vessels (neovascularization) which can now carry healing factors to the site of injury.

Who Might Benefit From AWT:

  • Individuals with chronic soft tissue injuries (typically lasting more than 6 months)
  • Individuals with injuries that have been non-responsive to other forms of conservative treatment (e.g. chiropractic care, exercise, ice, physical therapy, NSAIDS, custom orthotics, etc.)
  • Those considering, or being recommended for, surgical consult


Some of the Conditions Treated:

Plantar Fasciitis

Elbow Pain (Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow)

Calcific Tendonitis of Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder


Shin Splints

Jumper’s Knee

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Elbow Treatment
AWT being applied to tennis elbow.

Benefits of AWT:


Minimal Side-Effects

Decreased Pain

Improved Mobility / Flexibility / Range of Motion

Improved Circulation

Short Treatment Times (typically 5-10 minutes/treatment)

Minimal Downtime


What the Research Says…

  • A 2016 study revealed that low-level laser improved hand grip, VAS (pain levels), and SNAP (sensation) after 3 months of follow-up for mild to moderate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
    Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Aug;95(31):e4424.


  • A 2017 meta-analysis found “that LLLT is an effective treatment modality to reduce pain in adult patients with musculoskeletal disorders.”

Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2017 Jan 30. doi: 10.23736/S1973-9087.17.04432-X.


  • A 2016 study found that when compared to the standard physiotherapeutic and drug protocol (PDP) of combining hot packs, exercises, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatory drugs, LLLT was equally effective at controlling jaw pain associated with temporomandibular disorder (TMD).

Photomed Laser Surg. 2016 Dec;34(12):652-656. doi: 10.1089/pho.2016.4195. Epub 2016 Nov 29.