Therapeutic Ultrasound is one of the most widely used passive modalities for the treatment of soft tissue injury, joint dysfunction and pain.
Therapeutic Ultrasound is the use of sound waves to penetrate the body eliciting therapeutic benefit in specific target tissues. These waves are produced in the transducer head of the ultrasound machine where electrical energy is transmitted to a special quartz or synthetic crystal. When stimulated by the electricity, the crystal vibrates at an extremely high frequency, which is called "ultrasonic vibrations". These ultrasonic vibrations emit ultrasound waves from the transducer head that are transmitted into the body via coupling media.
Ultrasound machines typically produce sound waves at frequencies of 3MHz or 1 MHz. The range at which the human ear can detect sound is between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz. Ultrasound is a form of mechanical energy, not electrical energy.
What can be Treated With Ultrasound?
An incredibly wide variety of ailments are treated using ultrasound. Essentially, anywhere there is a desire to promote blood circulation and reduce swelling and oedema, ultrasound will help.
Tendon Injuries, Muscle Injuries and Ligament Injuries
Injuries to the tendons, ligaments, muscles and cartilage are treated primarily with ultrasound. Ultrasound helps to reduce swelling and oedema which in turn greatly reduces the pain from the injury. The stimulated tissue and increased blood flow speed the healing process. Typically, these types of injuries are very slow to heal and because people continue to try to use the injured body part, the injury is repeatedly stressed. Regular applications of ultrasound over the duration of the healing period will significantly reduce pain and the time to heal.
Treat Your Chronic Pain!
People who suffer from chronic ailments associated with swelling and pain also gain great benefit from ultrasound. Those who suffer from Arthritis, Bursitis, Carpal and Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, and swollen disks use ultrasound to reduce the swelling and pain associated with their ailment. Ailments which are not chronic such as Bursitis and Tunnel Syndromes can be treated and eliminated with ultrasound. For conditions such as arthritis, ultrasound cannot cure the disease but it WILL reduce the pain and swelling significantly and increase flexibility in atrophied (unused and frozen) joints.
Muscle Strains, Muscle Tension and Trigger Points (Sensitive Spots in the Muscle with Poor Circulation and Atrophy)
As a therapeutic massage device, ultrasound is very effective at reducing muscle tension. People who suffer muscle tension headaches and migraines use ultrasound on the back of the neck and across upper back (trapezius muscle). This is a very common procedure used by massage therapists and chiropractors for tension headache sufferers.
People receiving treatments often describe the sensation as 'the machine seems to suck the tension and pain right out of my head through my neck'. In reality what is happening is the ultrasound is releasing the trigger points which are VERY often the source of the pain. Trigger Point Release drains the build up of lactic acid and other toxins in the area, increasing blood flow and bringing much needed nutrients to the muscle tissue.