Double European record holder David Emerson receives radial shockwave therapy for his swimmer’s shoulder

“Swimmer’s shoulder”, sometimes called shoulder impingement, is a general term covering a wide range of painful shoulder overuse injuries in swimmers. Swimmers often aggravate their shoulders while they swim due to the constant joint rotation. There are various parts of the shoulder that can be injured from a swimming stroke, the pain can be anything from local pain near the joint, to a spreading pain that travels up the shoulder, the neck and into the arm.

It is thought that over a third of top level swimmers experience shoulder pain that hampers normal training, but this pain can be effectively treated using shockwave therapy.

If you think you have swimmer’s shoulder and would like to find a clinic which provides shockwave therapy, you can do so via the clinic finder on our contact page.

swimmer's shoulder shockwave therapy

It’s safe to say that competitive swimmer David Emerson has swum around the block a few times, having both won the 200m Butterfly at the Men’s British Swimming Championships in 1984, and also set a new British and European record in the Men’s 55-59 Year 50m Butterfly race in 2019, thirty five years later!

David was experiencing some pain in his shoulder which was holding him back in his training, so he decided to contact Ove Indergaard at Indergaard Physiotherapy in Leeds. Ove suggested using radial shockwave therapy to treat the general shoulder area, which involves passing short acoustic waves through the tissue to stimulate the regeneration of skeletal muscle tissue and accelerate repair processes.

The Storz MP50 was the device used. Radial shockwave delivers most of its energy at the contact point (skin) and progressively reduces as soundwaves pass into the tissue. Radial pressure waves have a superficial spread and a slow impulse.

After three short treatments, David was back to training at full capacity, with no shoulder pain or flexibility issues.

david emerson swimmer shockwave therapy

I went to see Indergaard Physio with shoulder pain which had gradually become worse, it was hampering my performance in the pool so much I had to stop my main stroke.

I had 3 sessions of Shockwave Therapy ESWT and the results have been remarkable. It was an interesting form of treatment, there was a mild discomfort after each treatment session and I was a little sore the next day, but then the pain got less and less after each treatment. After the 3rd Shockwave treatment the pain was completely gone.

I was very happy, as I can now put full pressure on the shoulder in the pool and get back into training. I would definitely recommend Shockwave Therapy ESWT to anyone with shoulder tendon problems.

~ David Emerson