Ultrasound uses pulsed high-frequency sonic waves to examine organs and diagnose and treat medical problems. It has been used for years in gynecology to examine female pelvic organs and in obstetrics to determine the gestational age and level of fetal development, confirm fetal viability, determine the presence or absence of birth defects and for other internal examinations, such as an examination for foreign bodies and evaluating calcific deposits. Since 1940, physical and occupational therapists have used thermal and mechanical ultrasound therapy to treat acute and chronic pain conditions and musculoskeletal issues such as inflammation from injuries including sprains, tendinitis, bursitis and arthritis.
How is ultrasound therapy performed?
A transmission coupling gel is applied to the ultrasound transducer (sound head) of the ultrasound probe of an ultrasound unit or on your skin. The sound head is then placed in direct contact with your skin and moved in small circular directions over and around the affected area.
How does ultrasound therapy work?
The sonic waves created by ultrasound therapy treatments cause a vibration of the water molecules deep within soft tissue. Although the tissue is not heated, the treatment works similar to a deep heat massage in the muscles and joints by increasing heat and friction, which then increases the blood flow to the injured area being treated, bringing nutrients to it and carrying away waste. This process promotes healing and decreases swelling to inflamed soft tissue and joints.
Is ultrasound therapy safe?
Ultrasound does not use radiation, as X-Rays do. So it is safe for imaging and treating areas where radiation sensitivity is a concern.
How long do the treatments last?
Ultrasound treatments typically last 5-10 minutes for each area being treated.
What conditions are treated by ultrasound therapy?
Ultrasound is used to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions including:
- Chornic pain
- Muscle, ligament and tendon tears
- Bursitis and tendinitis of the rotator cuff in the shoulder, Achilles tendon in the ankle and other tendons throughout the body
- Bursae and joint inflammation or fluid (effusions)
- Early changes in rheumatoid arthritis
- Nerve impingements/entrapments and other nerve conditions
- Knee conditions, such as Patellar Tendonitis, ACL tear, Meniscal tear, IT Band Syndrome, Popliteal Tendinitis and Baker's Cyst
- Foot conditions, such as Plantar Fasciitis, Metatarsalgia and tendon/ligament sprains and strains
- Cartilage defects in the knee at the femoral condyle and meniscus
- Cartilage defects in the labrum of the shoulder and hip
- Inflammatory joints disease, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
For more information on ultrasound therapy treatments or to set up an appointment, call us today.