What is Shockwave Therapy?

Dr. Harkins, is excited to offer “Piezo Wave” Therapy sometimes referred to as (A.C.T)  Acoustic Compression Therapy or Shockwave Therapy.  ACT is a revolutionary new pain relieving therapy that offers a highly effective alternative to surgery and injections for the following conditions.

Acoustic Compression Therapy is non-invasive, painless, gentle and 100% safe. A.C.T. treatments take 5-10 minutes with most conditions responding favorably with 2-5 treatments total however long standing or chronic conditions may take more time. Acoustic Compression Therapy provides successful relief of chronic pain and helps restore mobility and strength to injured muscle and ligaments. The use of Acoustic Compression Therapy to treat muscle and tendon related pain began in Europe over 20 years ago. A.C.T requires no anesthetic, no medication, no recovery time and low treatment costs.

How does it work?

Basic Principle of Acoustic Compression Therapy (ACT)

ACT is a non-invasive procedure for the treatment of acute and chronic pain of the musculoskeletal system. Acoustic sound waves are characterized by a pressure surge with an extremely short rise time, which is then followed by an exponential drop in pressure and a brief phase of negative pressure. The sound waves generated by the Piezo Wave focus or develop in the target tissue at the point where the pain is originating from. They cause an improved local blood circulation and metabolism.


– Tennis Elbow

– Achilles Tendinopathy

– Iliotibial Band Syndrome

– Plantar Fasciitis

– Calcific Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

– Neck Pain

– Back Pain

– Hip Pain

– Shoulder Pain

– Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

– Knee Pain

– Ankle Pain

– Foot Pain

– Jaw Pain/TMJ

– Scar Tissue Treatment

– Hamstrings Tendonitis

– Trigger Point Therapy

Mechanism of Action

ACT, aids in healing by stimulating the body’s regeneration process. The sound waves (low-energy waves) work much like a therapeutic deep tissue massage, releasing proteins that accelerate healing.

Energy is released as a sound wave at tissue interfaces where the density of the tissue or impedance of the sound waves changes. These changes of impedance occur where soft tissue, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone meet.

The energy released by an ACT treatment produces cellular reaction that causes the release of various substances leading to increased blood supply to the treated tissue, resulting in tissue regeneration in tendons, joints, and bone.


– Alleviation of musculoskeletal pain

– Improves mobility

– Non-invasive

– Reduces the need for pain medications

– Outpatient treatment

– Short therapy time of approx. 10-20 min.

– Patient-guided focused therapy

Call and schedule a free consultation today and we can help you achieve the health that you desire.  805-947-7362

How does Acoustic Compression Therapy work?

The term A.C.T refers to piezoelectric pressure pulses that expand as a wave in the body. The pressure pulses break down scar tissue and calcifications, stimulating metabolism, enhancing blood circulation, and enabling damaged tissue to regenerate.

Acoustic Compression Therapy stimulates certain components within the body so that it is able to heal from injuries. In addition, Piezo Wave therapy is also effective in cases of chronic pain when the body has demonstrated a previous inability heal completely by itself. In addition to stimulating the healing process, shockwave therapy may have a direct effect on nerves, diminishing pain.

Many traditional therapies, such as anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, physiotherapy, massage, acupuncture, and so forth, can assist the body during the early, acute phase of an injury. The Piezo Wave can be an effective alternative modality to these treatments. However, traditional treatments are much less effective in assisting the body to heal when an injury becomes chronic. As an example, many patients can relate to a history where a steroid injection (like cortisone) seemed to be effective in resolving pain early in their healing process, but subsequent injections were much less effective.

What makes Acoustic therapy unique is that it is one of the very few technologies in any field of medicine that seems to work well when an injury reaches the chronic, non-healing state.

Acoustic Compression Therapy

The first medical treatment developed from this research was lithotripsy. This allowed focused shockwaves to essentially dissolve kidney stones without surgical intervention. Today, over 98% of all kidney stones are treated with this technology. The use of shockwaves to treat tendon related pain began in the early 1990s. A clinical shockwave/A.C.T is nothing more than a controlled explosion that creates a sonic pulse, much like an airplane breaking the sound barrier. The primary effect of a shockwave is a direct mechanical force. The exact mechanism by which shockwave therapy acts to treat tendon pathology is not known. The leading explanation is based on the inflammatory healing response. It is felt the shockwaves cause microtrauma to the diseased tendon tissue. This results in inflammation, which allows the body to send healing cells and increase the blood flow to the injured site. Shockwaves are used to treat many orthopedic conditions, including plantar fasciitis (heel spurs), patellar tendinitis (jumper’s knee), lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow) and shoulder tendinitis. Multiple studies have been conducted to assess the efficacy of shockwave therapy. Many have shown a positive response versus placebo treatment and others have shown no benefit over placebo. No studies have reported any significant side effects when utilized for orthopedic conditions. Contraindications to shockwave therapy include bleeding disorders and pregnancy.

There are two main types of shockwave machines, low and high energy. High-energy treatments are administered in the operating room with regional or general anesthesia. Low-energy treatments are administered in the clinic and do not require anesthesia or injections. Dr. Harkins currently uses a low-energy machine by placing the probe on the area of greatest tenderness and the acoustic waves are delivered over 10 minutes. Occasionally, patients will relate mild transient discomfort at the treatment site. Patients are usually treated with 3-5 sessions separated by a day or up to a week. Between treatments, patients are able to perform all normal daily activities. Some patients report immediate pain relief, but the healing response usually requires 6-8 weeks. Early results are encouraging, and research continues at multiple sites around the country.