What is Therapeutic Ultrasound?
Therapeutic ultrasound is a modality that has been used by physiotherapists since the 1940s. Ultrasound is applied using the head of an ultrasound probe that is placed in direct contact with your skin via a transmission coupling gel.
The benefits of therapeutic ultrasound are as follow:
Increasing healing rates
Relaxation of soft tissue
- Heating of tissue
Increasing blood flow to a localised area
Promote/facilitate scar tissue breakdown.
How can Ultrasound help you?
The ultrasound head sends soundwaves through soft tissue which allows the tissue to be heated thus creating increased blood flow in deeper regions of the body. Increases in local blood flow have shown to help reduce localised swelling and chronic inflammation. The intensity can be adjusted according to the desired result, from breaking down scar tissue to aiding healing of harder to reach structures such as tendon and ligaments.
Another use of the ultrasound is to achieve phonophoresis, a non-invasive way of administering medication to tissues below the skin. The ultrasound enables greater and deeper absorption off the cream based medication. Cortisone, mostly used to reduce inflammation, is commonly used to promote healing of tendons (of muscles with tendonitis) or assist with reducing joint swelling
How does Ultrasound work?
Within the head of the ultrasound probe, vibration is created through crystals which in turn cause a piezoelectric effect. The ultrasound waves pass through the skin and soft tissue causing a local heating effect to promote healing (as mentioned above).