What Is Ultrasound Therapy?
Therapeutic Ultrasound Therapy uses sound waves above the range of human hearing and is used by Physiotherapists to accelerate the healing process of musculoskeletal problems, especially ligament, muscle, tendon and joint inflammation. Therapeutic Ultrasound is one of the most tried and true modalities to reduce inflammation, and has a proven track record plus 20 years of clinical studies to support its effectiveness.
What Does Therapeutic Ultrasound Do?
Therapeutic Ultrasound helps the body recover in two specific ways:
First, Therapeutic Ultrasound provides deep heating to soft tissue structures in the body which serves to increase blood circulation to the injured area to enhance the natural healing process while minimizing pain.
The benefits of deep heat also improve the flexibility of tight muscles and tendons. If you are experiencing shoulder pain and the diagnosis is Frozen Shoulder, a physiotherapist may prescribe an ultrasound treatment to increase extensibility (stretchiness) of your shoulder’s tissue before performing a series of range-of-motion exercises. The overall result is reduced pain and increased functionality.
Second, these therapeutic sound waves are directed at the injured area, adding heat energy to the body. A process known as cavitation occurs. Gas bubbles expand and contract rapidly in the injured area. This process rapidly increases the cellular processes and enhances the natural healing and rejuvenation of the injured tissue.
What Can I Expect During An Ultrasound Treatment?
Your Physiotherapist applies gel to the injured area or to the transducer head of the Ultrasound machine. The gel conducts the sound waves for an even and consistent penetration of the skin. Throughout your treatment, your Physiotherapist will move the wand continually in all directions to avoid too much heat concentration in one area.
What Do I Feel During An Ultrasound Treatment?
Treatment is typically pain free. You will certainly feel the cold gel as it is applied to your skin. You may feel the pulsating sensation created by the sound waves. Since the treatment is the application of deep heat, there may also be a slight warming of the skin. If the area being treated is sensitive to begin with you may feel a slight discomfort when touched by the transducer head.
How Safe Is Therapeutic Ultrasound Therapy?
When performed by a licensed healthcare provider who is properly trained, Therapeutic Ultrasound therapy is safe and has been approved for therapeutic use by the FDA. It should be noted, however, that to ensure a safe treatment, your therapist must keep the transducer head in constant motion.