Ultrasound therapy is used to treat a range of musculoskeletal injuries. Ultrasound physiotherapy is a form of acoustic energy that uses sound waves to stimulate the injured area and promote tissue healing. Different intensities and frequencies can be set to target different types of tissues at varying depths of the body or at varying stages of healing.
The technique has been used since the early 1940’s and has proven to be an effective method to increase local blood flow to the injured area which helps to reduce local swelling and chronic inflammation. Ultrasound therapy can also be used for its thermal effects. According to recent literature, studies have found that when used at low frequencies ultrasound can aid in the healing process of a bone fracture. It is the ideal approach for patients who are not comfortable with injections or have allergies to certain medications.
During an ultrasound therapy session, here’s what you can expect:
- It takes about 3-5 minutes depending on the area being treated
- You should feel no pain or discomfort from the treatment itself.
- The ultrasound is applied similar to how a pregnant women would receive an imaging ultrasound around the abdomen except the round headed probe is applied to the injured area, directly onto the patient’s skin such as the knee or shoulder.
- A water based gel is used as a medium for the waves to pass through from the probe to the tissues.
- During the ultrasound therapy session, the probe will be moving constantly. The sound waves that are transmitted through the skin will cause a vibration of the local tissues.
Ultrasound therapy is commonly used to treat:
- Rotator cuff tendinopathy
- Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow
- Acute muscles tears and strains
- Facet joint injuries
- Labral tears (shoulder, hip)
- Acute sprains
- Carpal tunnel and more.