A History of Shockwaves


Shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction is a very recent treatment. However, the history of the science of shockwaves dates back to WWII.

Initial Discovery

Scientists first became aware of the effects of shockwaves on the human body during the Second World War. The explosion of depth charges near men on submarines led to lung damage.

depth charge shockwaves

However, there were no outer signs of physical trauma. Therefore scientists theorised that shockwaves at a distance from the explosion could create damage to the vulnerable lung tissue (Krause, 1997).

Early Science

During the 1950’s there was a cluster of studies into the potential medical uses of shockwaves. Laboratory experiments had shown that shockwaves could break up ceramic when fired through water. The first patent for an electrohydraulic shockwave generator was granted to Frank Rieber of the USA in 1951 (patent number 2.559.277).