Extracorporeal shock wave therapy is a noninvasive modality used to stimulate healing, particularly in ligament, tendon, or boney structures. A shock wave is a high energy sound wave that rapidly increases pressure as it travels through tissue—rapid and intense pressure changes result in cavitation, the formation and instantaneous collapse of tiny bubbles. 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. This 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.

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