Therapeutic ultrasound uses high-frequency, inaudible sound waves to treat a variety of soft tissue injuries. Ultrasound is applied using a round-headed wand or probe that is placed in direct contact with your skin. At first, you’ll feel the coolness of the gel used to improve sound conduction. Then you will likely feel a pleasant, warm feeling beneath your skin in the region being treated.
When these high frequencies of sound are directed to soft tissues and joints, the rise in temperature increased blood flow to the region, relaxes muscle spasms, increased metabolism and promotes your body’s healing response. Think of ultrasound as a form of deep tissue micro-massage, helping reduce swelling, increase blood flow, decrease pain, reduce joint stiffness and stimulate cell repair.
A typical ultrasound treatment can take from 3-5 minutes. However, in cases where scar tissue is present, treatment time can be longer.
Ultrasound can also be helpful at diagnosing minor fractures that may not be obvious on x-ray. Small, hairline fractures may produce pain as sound waves are trapped between the two parts of the break.
Naturally, ultrasound usage is avoided where there are metal implants below the area treated, acute infection, vascular abnormalities and on the abdomen of pregnant women.