Skip to content


Acoustic Field Analysis of a Shock Wave Therapy Device for Musculoskeletal Conditions

Acoustic Field Analysis of a Shock Wave Therapy Device for Musculoskeletal Conditions


Title of study: Acoustic field characterization of the Duolith: Measurements and modeling of a clinical shock wave therapy device

Author: Camilo Perez, Hong Chen, and Thomas J. Matula

This study focused on characterizing the acoustic field of a clinical shock wave therapy device called Duolith SD1, which is used to treat musculoskeletal disorders. The researchers measured the acoustic parameters of the device using a fiber optic probe hydrophone and performed simulations to model the field. The results showed that the device generated stable pulses with peak positive pressures ranging from 2 to 45 MPa and peak negative pressures ranging from -2 to -11 MPa. The pulse rise times varied from 8 to 500 ns, and shock wave formation did not occur for any machine settings. The simulations matched well with the experimental data, providing valuable insights into the spatial distribution of peak pressures and the potential for shock wave formation. The study demonstrated that a true shock wave could be achieved by doubling the device’s maximum initial pressure output.

The combination of measurements and mathematical modeling proved to be an effective approach for characterizing the acoustic field of the shock wave therapy device. While the study was conducted in water and further complexities exist when propagating the waves through the human body, these findings are a crucial step towards understanding the implications of high-intensity pressure fields in vivo.

This research highlights the benefits of acoustic field analysis in optimizing shock wave therapy devices for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. By accurately characterizing the pressure fields and simulating their behavior, researchers can calibrate the devices and gain insights into their effects within the human body. This knowledge contributes to improving the safety and efficacy of shock wave therapy, potentially leading to better outcomes for patients with musculoskeletal disorders.

Click here to read more.