History of Shock Waves and Radial Pressure Waves From Newton to Our Times

Review Article | Volume 3 | Issue 1 | JRS Jun – June 2023 | Page 09-14 | Daniel Moya, Achim M. Loske, Paul Hobrough , Carla Moya.
DOI: 10.13107/jrs.2023.v03.i01.70

Author: Daniel Moya [1], Achim M. Loske [2], Paul Hobrough [3], Carla Moya [4]

[1] Department of Orthopaedics, Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires, Argentina,
[2] Centro de Física Aplicada y Tecnología Avanzada, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Juriquilla, Querétaro, México,,

[3] The University of Northumbria – Newcastle upon Tyne, UK,

[4] Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Address of Correspondence
Dr. Daniel Moya,
Department of Orthopaedics, Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
E-mail: drdanielmoya@yahoo.com.ar


Although shock waves have been present in nature since its origins, current knowledge took many centuries of study and research. The history of the development of the use of mechanical waves for therapeutic purposes has been a long process in which scientists from many countries contributed. The physical knowledge of waves, the development of generation sources, the first applications in kidney stones and the discovery of their biological impact have been milestones in this long process. The aim of this publication is to highlight previous discoveries that have not been described when analyzing the development of shock waves as a therapeutic tool.

Keywords: Shock waves, Radial pressure waves, History.


  1. Krehl P. History of shock waves. In: Ben-Dor G, Igra O, Elperin T, editors. Handbook of Shock Waves. Vol. 1. United States: Academic Press; 2001. p. 1-142.
  2. Newton I. Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica; 2009. Available from: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/28233/28233-pdf.pdf Last accessed 29 Jan 2023
  3. Goriely A, McMillen T. Shape of a cracking whip. Phys Rev Lett 2002;88:244301.
  4. Lennauchfilm-Studio. He tamed the lightning. Science and technology film; 1957. Available from: https://www.calameo.com/read/00103816437ddb2395bc0
  5. Bekaev AA, Sokovikov VK, Strokov PI. Electrohydraulic devices based on the yutkin effect. Russ Eng Res 2014;34:620-3.
  6. Malinaric R, Mantica G, Martini M, Balzarini F, Mariano F, Marchi G, et al. The lifetime history of the first Italian public extra-corporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) lithotripter as a mirror of the evolution of endourology over the last decade. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2023;20:4127.
  7. Loske AM. Medical and biomedical applications of shock waves. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International; 2017. p. 55.
  8. Coleman AJ, Saunders JE, Crum LA, Dyson M. Acoustic cavitation generated by an extracorporeal shockwave lithotripter. Ultrasound Med Biol 1987;13:69-76.
  9. Delius M, Jordan M, Eizenhoefer H, Marlinghaus E, Heine G, Liebich HG, et al. Biological effects of shock waves: Kidney haemorrhage by shock waves in dogs–administration rate dependence. Ultrasound Med Biol 1988;14:689-94.
  10. Schelling G, Delius M, Gschwender M, Grafe P, Gambihler S. Extracorporeal shock waves stimulate frog sciatic nerves indirectly via a cavitation-mediated mechanism. Biophys J 1994;66:133-40.
  11. Angstman NB, Kiessling MC, Frank HG, Schmitz C. High interindividual variability in dose-dependent reduction in speed of movement after exposing elegans to shock waves. Front Behav Neurosci 2015;9:12.
  12. Császár NB, Angstman NB, Milz S, Sprecher CM, Kobel P, Farhat M, et al. Radial shock wave devices generate cavitation. PLoS One 2015;10:e0140541.
  13. Hazen RH, Boctor N, Brandes JA, Cody GD, Hemley RJ, Sharma A, et al. High pressure and the origin of life. J Phy Condens Matter 2022;14:11489.
  14. Kaminski A, Fedorchak GR, Lammerding J. The cellular mastermind(?)-mechanotransduction and the nucleus. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci 2014;126:157-203.
  15. Mayhew E. The Invisible Killer of World War I: Blast Injury. Available from: https://www.knowitwall.com/episodes/the-invisible-killer-of-world-war-i-blast-injury Last accessed 29 Jan 2023
  16. Shoja MM, Tubbs RS. Augusta Déjerine-Klumpke: The first female neuroanatomist. Clin Anat 2007;20:585-7.
  17. Thiel M. Application of shock waves in medicine. Clin Orthop 2001;387:18-21.
  18. Wang CJ. An overview of shock wave therapy in musculoskeletal disorders. Chang Gung Med J 2003;26:220-32.
  19. Scott TE, Kirkman E, Haque M, Gibb IE, Mahoney P, Hardman JG. Primary blast lung injury-a review. Br J Anaesth 2017;118:311-6.
  20. Mackenzie I, Tunnicliffe B, Clasper JC, Mahoney P, Kirkman E. What the intensive care doctor needs to know about blast-related lung injury. J Intensive Care Soc 2013;14:303-12.
  21. Horrocks CL. Blast injuries: Biophysics, pathophysiology and management principles. J R Army Med Corps 2001;147:28-40.
  22. Yang C, Dong-Hai Z, Ling-Ying L, Yong-Hui Y, Yang W, Li-Wei Z, et al. Author correction: Simulation of blast lung injury induced by shock waves of five distances based on finite element modeling of a three-dimensional rat. Sci Rep 2019;9:3440.
  23. Delius M, Enders G, Heine G, Stark J, Remberger K, Brendel W. Biological effects of shock waves: Lung hemorrhage by shock waves in dogs–pressure dependence. Ultrasound Med Biol 1987;13:61-7.
  24. Nouri-Majalan N, Masoumi R, Halvani A, Moghaddasi S. Lung contusion and cavitation with exudative plural effusion following extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy in an adult: A case report. J Med Case Rep 2010;4:293.
  25. Yi JH, Wang D, Chen H, Li ZS, Hu LH. Lung contusion after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for pancreatic stones: A case report. Medicine (Baltimore) 2022;101:e30063.
  26. Chaussy C, Eisenberger F, Forssmann B. Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL): A chronology. J Endourol 2007;21:1249-53.
  27. Keller EX, Proietti S, Talso M, Emiliani E, Ploumidis A, Mantica G, et al. Prone versus supine percutaneous nephrolithotomy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of current literature. Minerva Urol. Nephrol 2021;73:50-8.
  28. Farr JB. Frank rieber: Obscure genius (Part 1). Lead Edge 2008;27:613-8.
  29. Tefekli A, Cezayirli F. The history of urinary stones: In parallel with civilization. ScientificWorldJournal 2013;2013:423964.
  30. Mulvaney WP. Attempted disintegration of calculi by ultrasonic vibrations. J Urol 1953;70:704-7.
  31. European Museum of Urology (EMU). Available from: https://history.uroweb.org/history-of-urology/early-rologicalinterventions/lithotripsy/electrohydraulic-lithotripsy Last accessed 29 Jan 2023
  32. Tufano A, Frisenda M, Rossi A, Viscuso P, Mantica G, Bove P, et al. External validation of Resorlu-Unsal stone score in predicting outcomes after retrograde intrarenal surgery. Experience from a single institution. Arch Ital Urol Androl 2022;94:311-4.
  33. Haeusler E, Kiefer W. Anregung von Stoßwellen in Flüssigkeiten durch Hochgeschwindigkeitswassertropfen. [Excitation of shock waves in liquids by high-velocity water droplets] Verhandl. DPG (VI) 1971;6: K 36. (VI) 1971;6:K 36.
  34. Eisenberger F, Chaussy CH, Wanner K. Extrakorporale anwen-dung von hochenergetischen stosswellen: Ein neuer aspekt in derbehandlung des harnsteinleidens. [Extracorporeal application of high-energy shock waves: A new aspect in the treatment of urinary stone disease.] Akt Urol 1977;8:3-15.
  35. Chaussy CH, Schmiedt E, Forssmann B, Brendel W. Contact free renal stone destruction by means of shock waves. Eur Surg Res 1979;11:36.
  36. Chaussy C, Eisenberger F, Wanner K. Die implantation humaner nierensteine: Ein einfachesexperimentelles steinmodell. [The implantation of human kidney stones: A simple experimental step model] Urol A 1977;16:35-8.
  37. Forssmann B, Hepp W, Chaussy C, Jocham D, Schmiedt E, Brendel W. Prototyp für die klinischeanwendung der berührungsfreien nierensteinzertrümmerung durch stosswellen. [Prototype for the clinical application of non-contact urinary stone destruction by shock waves.] Biomed Tech 1980;25:414-6.
  38. Lohrer H, Nauck T, Korakakis V, Malliaropoulos N. Historical ESWT paradigms are overcome: A narrative review. Biomed Res Int 2016;2016:3850461.
  39. Chaussy C, Brendel W, Schmiedt E. Extracorporeally induced destruction of kidney stones by shock waves. Lancet 1980;2:1265-8.
  40. Haupt G. Use of extracorporeal shock waves in the treatment of pseudarthrosis, tendinopathy and other orthopedic diseases. J Urol 1997;158:4-11.
  41. Pearson OM, Lieberman DE. The aging of Wolff‘s “law”: Ontogeny and responses to mechanical loading in cortical bone. Am J Phys Anthropol 2004;Suppl 39:63-99.
  42. Thompson DA. On Growth and Form. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press; 1917.
  43. Thompson DA. In: Bonner JT, editor. On Growth and Form. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press; 1992.
  44. Garduño FS, Sánchez JL. Las transformaciones de Thompson y las formas biológicas. [Thompson transformations and biological forms] Ciencias 2017;126, 42-53.
  45. Iskratsch T, Wolfenson H, Sheetz MP. Appreciating force and shape-the rise of mechanotransduction in cell biology. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 2014;15:825-33.
  46. Lim CT, Bershadsky A, Sheetz MP. Mechanobiology. J R Soc Interface 2010;7 Suppl 3:S291-3.
  47. Fung YC. Biomechanics: Mechanical properties of living tissues. New York: Springer; 1993. p. 165-219.
  48. Martino F, Perestrelo AR, Vinarský V, Pagliari S, Forte G. Cellular mechanotransduction: From tension to function. Front Physiol 2018;9:824.
  49. Jaalouk DE, Lammerding J. Mechanotransduction gone awry. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 2009;10:63-73.
  50. Iqbal J, Zaidi M. Molecular regulation of mechanotransduction. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2005;328:751-5.
  51. Graff J, Pastor J, Richter KD. Effect of high energy shock waves on bony tissue. Urol Res 1988;16:252-8.
  52. Haupt G, Chvapil M. Effect of shock waves on the healing of partial-thickness wounds in piglets. J Surg Res 1990;49:45-8.
  53. Haupt G, Haupt A, Chvapil M, Drach GW, Senge TH. Wound and fracture healing: n ew indication for extracorporealshock waves? J Endourol Suppl 1990;4:S54, abstract A-4.
  54. Haupt G, Haupt A, Ekkernkamp A, Gerety B, Chvapil M. Influence of shock waves on fracture healing. Urology 1992;39:529-532. DOI: 10.1016/0090-4295(92)90009-l.
  1. Wang FS, Wang CJ, Huang HC, Chung H, Chen RF, Yang KD. Physical shock wave mediates membrane hyperpolarization and Ras activation for osteogenesis in human bone marrow stromal cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2001;287:648-55.
  2. Wang CJ, Huang HY, Pai CH. Shock wave-enhanced neovascularization at the tendon-bone-junction. An experiment in dogs. J Foot Ankle Surg 2002;41:16-22.
  3. Brañes J, Contreras HR, Cabello P, Antonic V, Guiloff LJ, Brañes M. Shoulder rotator cuff responses to extracorporeal shockwave therapy: Morphological and immunohistochemical analysis. Shoulder Elbow 2012;4:163-8.
  4. Gollmann-Tepeköylü C, Pölzl L, Graber M, Hirsch J, Nägele F, Lobenwein D, et al. miR-19a-3p containing exosomes improve function of ischaemic myocardium upon shock wave therapy. Cardiovasc Res 2020;116:1226-36.
  5. Gloeck TM. Effects of radial extracorporeal shock waves on healthy bone tissue in rabbit models. Complete copy of the dissertation approved by the Faculty of Medicine of the Technical University of Munich for obtaining the academic degree of Doctor of Medicine. Available from: https://d-nb.info/994118236/34 Last accessed 29 Jan 2023
  6. Horn CP. Effect of extracorporeal high-energy shock waves on bacteria and their interaction with antibiotics. Complete copy of the dissertation approved by the Faculty of Medicine of the Technical University of Munich for obtaining the academic degree of Doctor of Medicine. Available from: https://mediatum.ub.tum.de/doc/620254/620254.pdf Last accessed 29 Jan 2023
  7. Karpman RR, Magee FP, Gruen TW, Mobley T. Work-in-progress #1. The lithotriptor and its potential use in the revision of total hip arthroplasty. Orthop Rev 1987;16:38-42.
  8. Karpman RR, Magee FP, Gruen TW, Mobley T. The Lithotriptor and its potential use in the revision of total hip arthroplasty. Clin Orthop 2001;387:4-7.
  9. Valchanov V, Michailov P, Patrashkov T. New Possibilities of HM-3 lithotriptor for treatment of disturbed bone union. Read at World Congress on ESWL and Endourology, Kyoto, Japan; 1989.
  10. Valchanov VD, Michailov P. High energy shock waves in the treatment of delayed and nonunion fractures. Int Orthop 1991;15:181-4.
  11. Valchanov VD. Method and Aparattus for Medical Treatment of Pathological State of Bones. US Patent 4979501; 1990. Available from: https://image-ppubs.uspto.gov/dirsearch-public/print/downloadPdf/4979501 Last accessed 29 Jan 2023
  12. Haist J. Die osteorestauration via stobwellenanwendung. Eine neue moglichkeit zur therapie der gestorten knochernen konsolidierung. [Osteorestoration via shock wave application. A new possibility for the therapy of disturbed bony consolidation. In: Chaussy C, Eisenberger F, Jocham D Wilbert D, editors. Die StoOwelle-Forschung und Klinik. Tubingen: Attempto Verlag; 1995. p. 157.
  13. Dahmen GP, Meiss L, Nam VC, Franke R, Gonchars V. Extrakorporale stonwellentherapie (ESWT) im knochennahen weichteilbereich an der schulter. [Extracorporeal sound wave therapy (ESWT) in the soft tissue area close to the bone on the shoulder.] Erste therapieergebnisse. Ext Orthopaed 1992;15:25.
  14. Dahmen GP, Nam VC, Meiss L. Extrakorporale Stoßwellentherapie (ESWT) zur Behandlung von Knochennahen Weichteilschmerzen. Indikation, Technik und Vorläufige Ergebnisse. Konsensus Workshop der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Stoßwellenlithotripsie. [Indication, Technique and Preliminary Results. Consensus workshop of the German Society for Shockwave Lithotripsy.] Tübingen: Attempto-Verlag; 1993. p. 143-8.
  15. Dahmen GP, Franke R, Gonchars V, Poppe S, Lentrodt S, Lichtenberger S, et al. Die behandlung knochennaher weichteilschmerzen mit extrakorporaler stosswellentherapie (ESWT), Indikation, Technik und bisherige therapie. [The treatment of soft tissue pain close to the bone with extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), indication, technique and previous therapy.] In: Chaussy C, Eisenberger F, Jochum D, Wilbert D, editors. Die Stoßwelle-Forschung und Klinik. Tübingen, Germany: Attempo Verlag; 1995. p. 175-86.
  16. Loew M, Jurgowski W. Initial experiences with extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) in treatment of tendinosis calcarea of the shoulder. Z Orthop Ihre Grenzgeb 1993;131:470-3.
  17. Loew M, Jurgowski W, Mau H, Perlick L, Kuszniercak D. Die wirkung extrakorporal erzeugter hochenergetischer storwellen auf den klinischen, rontgenologischen undhistologischen verlauf der tendinosis calcarea der schulter-eine prospektive studie. [The effect of extracorporeally generated high-energy disturbance waves on the clinical, radiological and histological course of tendinosis calcarea of the shoulder – a prospective study.] In: Chaussy C, Eisenberger F, Jocham D, Wilbert D, editors. Die StoRwelle-Forschung und Klinik. Tubingen: Attempto Verlag; 1995. p. 153.
  18. Loew M, Daecke W, Kusnierczak D, Rahmanzadeh M, Ewerbeck V. Shock-wave therapy is effective for chronic calcifying tendinitis of the shoulder. J Bone Joint Surg Br 1999;81:863-7.
  19. Haupt G, Katzmeier P. Anwendung der hochenergetischen extrakorporalen Stoßwellentherapie bei pseudarthrosen, tendinosis calcarea der schulter und ansatz-tendinosen. [Application of high-energy extracorporeal shock wave therapy for pseudarthrosis, tendinosis calcarea of the shoulder and insertion tendinosis.] In: Chaussy C, Eisenberger F, Jocham D, Wilbert D, editors. Die Stoßwelle-Forschung und Klinik. Tübingen: Attempto Verlag; 1995. p. 143-6.
  20. Spindler A, Berman A, Lucero E, Braier M. Extracorporeal shock wave treatment for chronic calcific tendinitis of the shoulder. J Rheumatol 1998;25:1161-3.
  21. Rompe JD, Hope C, Kullmer K, Heine J, Burger R. Analgesic effect of extracorporeal shock-wave therapy on chronic tennis elbow. J Bone Joint Surg Br 1996;78:233-7.
  22. Rompe JD, Hopf C, Nafe B, Burger R. Low-energy extracorporeal shock wave therapy for painful heel: A prospective controlled single-blind study. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 1996;115:75-9.
  23. Perlick L, Boxberg W, Giebel G. High energy shock wave treatment of the painful heel spur. Unfallchirur 1998;101:914-8.
  24. Dahmen G, Haupt G, Rompe JD, Loew M, Haist J, Schleberger R. Standortbestimmung der arbeitsgruppe orthopädische stoßwellenbehandlungen. [Position determination of the working group orthopedic shock wave treatments.] In: Chaussy C, Eisenberger F, Jocham D, Wilbert D, editors. Die Stoßwelle-Forschung und Klinik. Tübingen, Germany: Attempto Verlag; 2015. p. 137-42.
  25. Ueberle F, Rad AJ. Ballistic pain therapy devices: Measurement of pressure pulse parameters. Biomed Tech 2012;57 Suppl 1:700-3.
  26. Loske A, Moya D. Shock waves and radial pressure waves: Time to put a clear nomenclature into practice. J Regen Sci 2021;1:4-8.



How to Cite this article: Moya D, Loske AM, Hobrough P, Moya C. History of Shock Waves and Radial Pressure Waves From Newton to Our Times. | Journal of Regenerative Science | Jan – June 2023; 3(1): 09-14.

[Full Text HTML] [Full Text PDF] 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *