Ultrasound therapy is used to minimize muscle pain and movement dysfunction. Therapeutic ultrasound uses sound waves to deliver deep heat to the treated tissues. The treatments may help reduce stiffness, swelling, and pain, increase circulation, and promote pain-free movement.
Ultrasound therapy may be used alone or in conjunction with stretching, therapeutic massage, heat, or gentle chiropractic manipulation. Ultrasound therapy is a painless procedure, and many people find it relaxing
The effect of ultrasound via an increase in local blood flow can be used to help reduce local swelling and chronic inflammation, and, according to some studies, promote bone fracture healing. The intensity or power density of the ultrasound can be adjusted depending on the desired effect. A greater power density (measured in watt/cm2) is often used in cases where scar tissue breakdown is the goal.
Ultrasound can also be used to achieve phonophoresis. This is a non-invasive way of administering medications to tissues below the skin; perfect for patients who are uncomfortable with injections. With this technique, the ultrasonic energy forces the medication through the skin. Cortisone, used to reduce inflammation, is one of the more commonly used substances delivered in this way.
The most common conditions treated with ultrasound include soft tissue injuries such as tendonitis (or tendinitis if you prefer), non-acute joint swelling and muscle spasm. Most muscle and ligament injuries can benefit from therapeutic ultrasound.