What is Ultrasound Therapy
While the term ultrasound is mostly associated with a procedure done on expectant moms to check the progress of the pregnancy, this technology is not only a diagnostic imaging tool. In physical therapy ultrasound is used as a therapeutic modality in which sound wave energy is transmitted to the tissue to treat a wide array of conditions.
Science behind ultrasound therapy
Therapeutic ultrasound uses sound waves at the frequency that is beyond human range of hearing. This energy is transmitted through the skin to cause microscopic vibrations in the deep tissue molecules that slightly increases temperature of the treated area and in turn improves microcirculation and metabolism of the cells. This process helps to diminish the inflammatory response, reduce tissue swelling, soften the scar tissue and relax tight and sore muscles thus decreasing pain both acute and chronic.
Common conditions treated with ultrasound
- Frozen shoulder
- Tennis elbow/golfers elbow
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Sprains and strains
- Ligament injuries
- Joint contracture or tightness
- Myofascial pain
- Pain caused by scar tissue
- Low back pain and neck pain
What does ultrasound treatment look like?
This non-invasive procedure is administered through a handheld applicator called transducer head, placed over the part of the body to be treated. A gel is applied either to the transducer head or to your skin, which helps the sound waves evenly penetrate the skin. The treatment is painless; the only thing you may feel is the sound head being pressed against your skin and slight warm sensation. Each ultrasound therapy session may last for around 4 to 8 minutes, depending on the area and condition being treated.
Ultrasound should always be part of an overall treatment plan that includes exercise, stretches, or other focused activities.