Ultrasound is a physical therapy modality which is used to promote healing, decrease pain and swelling, and to improve soft tissue function. Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to produce the desired effects in bodily tissue. A human can hear sound in the 1 to 20,000 Hertz range, while therapeutic ultrasound uses 1-3 million Hertz. The sound waves are passed through the transducer and into the patient. Ultrasound waves cannot travel through the air, therefore a liquid gel is used as a coupling agent. The sound waves can penetrate up to 4 to 8 centimeters. Ultrasound may be used on any soft tissue in the body, but is primarily used on muscles, ligaments, joint capsules, and tendons in our office. To schedule an appointment or discuss how the use of Ultrasound Therapy may benefit you, call us today at 814-860-DISC.
How Does Ultrasound Therapy work?
Therapeutic ultrasound sends sound waves into the desired tissue causing vibration of the tissues. This vibration of tissues has numerous effects in improving healing.
1. As the tissue cells vibrate, heat is created. This heat is deep in the tissue and much more advantageous as compared to superficial heat on the skin. This heat; loosens muscle or ligamentous tissue to increase joint range of motion, decreases muscle spasm, increases blood circulation to bring new healing cells to the area, increases cell membrane permeability to allow each cell to take in the appropriate fluids and nutrients and rid the area of excess swelling, and stimulates the release of enkephalins, the body’s natural painkillers.
2. The vibration of tissues has a direct effect on breaking up spastic tissues, adhesions, trigger points, scar tissue or calcific deposits.
3. The vibration also stimulates tissue regeneration and accelerates soft tissue repair.
Who might benefit from Ultrasound Therapy Treatments?
Ultrasound therapy is used for all types of conditions and injuries. We use ultrasound to treat the following types of conditions; muscle spasm, muscle strains, ligament sprains, tendonitis, bursitis, disc bulges, back pain, muscle pain, numbness/tingling, osteoarthritis, scar tissue, trigger points, and muscle adhesions.
Therapeutic ultrasound should not be used near malignant lesions, near a pacemaker, near metallic implants, over a pregnant fetus, or over active infections.