The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of extracorporal shock wave therapy (ESWT) in tennis elbow and painful heel. Nineteen patients with tennis elbow and 44 patients with painful heel in which conservative treatment had failed underwent ESWT. Both groups received 3000 shock waves of 0.12 mJ/mm2 three times at weekly intervals. After a follow-up of 5 and 6 months respectively, pain measured on a visual analogue scale (VAS) decreased significantly in both groups. The success rate (excellent and good results) was 63% in tennis elbows and 70% in painful heels. ESWT seems to be a useful conservative alternative in the treatment of both conditions.