Society History

Establishment and representatives


The European Society for Musculoskeletal Shockwave Therapy (ESMST) was established on Sept. 12th, 1997, in Vienna, Austria, following the DGOT-Conference.

The objective of the society was to promote research and development of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) in Europe.

Representatives from 8 European countries were involved: Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Turkey, Austria, Switzerland, Slovak Republic and Spain attended the Society`s inaugural session.
The society`s development paralleled the rapid spread of shockwave therapy. It’s first international conference took place in Izmir/Turkey in 1998 with international participation which included colleagues from outside Europe. Keeping track with the globalization of the society, the ESMST was unanimously renamed ISMST (International Society for Musculoskeletal Shockwave Therapy) during the annual 1999 conference in London. In attendance were participants from Japan, Taiwan, Canada and the United States.

At the AGM (Annual General Meeting) 2007 in Toronto the discussions have been prolonged, since more and more non-musculoskeletal experts are involved and because “therapy” was not adequate for negotiations with insurance companies and governmental authorities, the name was changed again into International Society for Medical Shockwave Treatment (ISMST).

The spread of shockwave therapy and the ISMST continued enormously. With further indications of the successful therapy the spectrum of users and scientists enlarged from the trauma surgery and orthopedics to the sports medicine, rehabilitation medicine, rheumatology, dermatology, plastic surgery, cardiology and veterinarian medicine. Until today the ISMST has more than 371 regular members from 56 different countries. This is the reason why the ISMST was once more renamed into the International Society for Medical Shockwave Treatment (ISMST). The success of the ISMST is seen in the good cooperation of all the National Societies in the managing board and the advisory board of the ISMST.
Since 2009 during the congresses were also offered official certificated instructional courses, which were attended very well. Under auspices of the ISMST this course was developed as the standard of ESWT education, many National Societies invited ISMST to bring this course to their country. This educational success has improved the training programs and raised the quality level of ESWT in general.

To point out and realize the high scientific standard of the ISMST since 2010 every second year the high level scientists meet for an ISMST Basic Research Meeting to improve research activities and the network throughout the scientific centers, what gave a great advance for the ESWT technology.

In its history the ISMST has presented the following awards for excellent work on behalf of the extracorporeal shockwave development. 

Shockwave Award


The ISMST Managing Board decided to honor outstanding contributions to the development of Shockwave Therapy by creating the Shockwave Award, which is represented by a three dimensional model manufactured out of metal by Austrian artists. The Managing Board decided at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, unanimously to present this Award to Dr. Othmar Wess

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of ESWT in medicine. At the AGM (Annual General Meeting 2004) the Managing Board was entitled to decide the ISMST Award winners in the future, the price was presented only once, but it may be annually.

Due to the extraordinary contribution of some ISMST members, the Managing Board installed in 2009 the Honorary Fellowship, which is presented to outstanding experts of ESWT, who gave a remarkable effort to ISMST. The persons on whom Honorary Fellowship has been bestowed are:

2009 – Prof. Ezio Maria Corrado, Napoli, Italy

2010 – Prof. Chin-Jeng Wang, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

2011 – Dr. Richard Coombs, London, Great Britain

2011 – Dr. Wolfgang Schaden, Vienna, Austria

ISMST Senators


Since the former ISMST Presidents are very much representing the Society far above the presidential period, the Managing Board introduced in 2011 the appointment of the ISMST Presidents after their period to be ISMST Senators. The ISMST Senate is composed of all ISMST Presidents cited at the list above “History of ISMST Congresses and Meetings”.

Best Presentation Award


The Best Presentation Award has been launched by the ISMST Managing Board in 2015 at the ISMST Congress in Mendoza, Argentina, to celebrate the most inspiring, forward-looking and innovative paper presented at the meeting.

The winner was:

2015: Dr. Marianne Koolen for the paper the paper “Optimizing fracture fixation with the use of extracorporeal shockwave therapy”

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