When this society was founded, there were no international cooperations of physicians and researchers dealing with extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT). There were some companies organizing user meetings, and there were groups in some countries, which tried to overcome the differences between the user groups of the companies to improve the scientific exchange. The founders of this society met each other at national and international orthopedic conventions, the interest in the various results of the different colleagues was growing, and so a group of European physicians came together and the European Society for Musculoskeletal Shockwave Therapy (ESMST) was established on 12 September 1997 in Vienna, Austria, following the DGOT Conference.
The objective of the Society was to promote research and development of shockwave used in support and movement devices in Europe. Representatives from eight European countries: Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Turkey, Austria, Switzerland, the Slovak Republic and Spain attended the Society's inaugural session. The society's development paralleled the rapid spread of shockwave therapy. Its 1st 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.
The main purpose of the ISMST is the exchange of the experiences and the knowledge. ESWT has become a frequently used treatment in various indications, many devices have been developed, the treatment protocols became confusing and the outcome of many studies was inconsistent, so the ISMST established annual meetings to discuss those problems. The annual congresses created the possibility for this knowledge and experience exchange for many physicians, physiotherapists, and other researchers in ESWT.
Since the knowledge became bigger and bigger, the ISMST members developed a course presenting an update of science and technology, newcomers and experienced ESWT appreciate this ISMST Certification Course very much wherever those courses are organized.
In conclusion, the ISMST is a platform for knowledge exchange and communication for ESWT, the vehicles are annual ISMST Congresses, ISMST Basic Research Meetings and ISMST Certification Courses, and on the other hand the permanent support with news at our homepage.
All interested physicians and people and societies are invited to share with us this platform, everybody is welcome to contact us at our office.
Vinzenz Auersperg, January 2016