Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is a noninvasive modality used to stimulate healing, particularly in ligament, tendon, or bony structures.

A shock wave is a high-energy sound wave that rapidly increases pressure as it travels through tissue. Generally, shock waves are generated by a carefully controlled spark within a fluid-filled probe, which then sends a focused sound wave through the tip of the probe and into the body. Because these energy waves are generated from outside the body, this therapy is referred to as extracorporeal.

Firing shock waves repeatedly at tissue creates microtrauma, which stimulates an increase in blood flow and new blood vessel formation in the target area. Improved blood supply and provision of tissue nutrients are important features of every healing process.