Therapeutic ultrasound is a common treatment practice in Physiotherapy and is sometimes confused with diagnostic ultrasound. Chiropractors tend to use spinal therapy as their main method of treatment, however, some do implement therapeutic ultrasound as well.
What is therapeutic ultrasound and how does it help with the treatment?
Therapeutic ultrasound is a method that uses sound waves to relieve and/or treat muscle spasms, inflammation, and pain.
Ultrasound brings energy into the body resulting in the microscopic gas bubbles around the tissues to expand and contract. The fast expansion and contraction of gas bubbles improves healing of the affected tissue as it helps improve the speed of the cellular processes.
Ultrasound is mainly for deep heating the body’s soft tissue structures. Deep heating the tendons, ligaments, and/or muscles helps to speed up the healing process by increasing the circulation to the soft tissues. Ultrasound increases the tissue temperature and decreases pain. The deep heating helps to loosen tight muscles and tendons. A chiropractor may use ultrasound therapy to improve the extensibility of the affected tissues in your body.
Ultrasound therapy helps treat various kinds of conditions and injuries including muscle tears, muscle strains, sprains and ligament injuries, joint tightness or contracture, bursitis (inflammation of the bursa), tendonitis (inflammation or irritation of a tendon), and frozen shoulder.
Using Therapeutic Ultrasound
Firstly the chiropractor will apply a small amount of ultrasound gel on the body part requiring treatment and this helps to reduce friction. The ultrasound head is placed on the affected area and then slowly rotated in a small, circular direction. The ultrasound equipment uses a variety of settings to control the intensity of the ultrasound. The settings used will depend on the stage of healing.
Ultrasound therapy is a completely painless treatment though some patient’s may feel a slight warming sensation and a little tingling on the treated area.