Shock wave therapy (SWT) represents a clinically widely used angiogenic and thus regenerative approach for the treatment of ischaemic heart or limb disease. Despite promising results in preclinical and clinical trials, the exact mechanism of action remains unknown. Toll-like receptor 3, which is part of the innate immunity, is activated by binding double stranded (ds) RNA. It plays a key role in inflammation, a process that is needed also for angiogenesis. We hypothesize that SWT causes cellular cavitation without damaging the target cells, thus liberating cytoplasmic RNA that in turn activates TLR3.