Principles of shock wave therapy

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2001 Jun:(387):8-17. doi: 10.1097/00003086-200106000-00003.


A shock wave is a transient pressure disturbance that propagates rapidly in three-dimensional space. It is associated with a sudden rise from ambient pressure to its maximum pressure. A significant tissue effect is cavitation consequent to the negative phase of the wave propagation. The current authors summarize the basic physics of shock waves and the physical parameters involved in assessing the amount of energy delivered to the target tissue and in comparing the various high- and low-energy devices being evaluated clinically for musculoskeletal applications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • High-Energy Shock Waves*
  • Physical Phenomena
  • Physics