Ultrasound Therapy

Ultrasound therapy dates back more than 70 years, to when it was first used in Berlin, Germany. During the 1950s, numerous advancements in ultrasound therapy were made, and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine was established. Since that time, chiropractors have used it to treat many patients.

Ultrasound therapy is used to lessen muscle pain and stiffness by stimulating the tissue beneath the skin’s surface through the use of extremely high frequency sound waves (800,000 to 2,000,000 Hz) that cannot be heard by humans. Ultrasound creates deep heat therapy, a painless procedure that many patients have found effective for reducing back pain, stiffness, and spasms.

How Does Ultrasound Therapy Work?

Ultrasound therapy — used alone or in combination with stretching, massage, heat therapy, or chiropractic manipulation — is usually applied directly to the patient’s skin with a round-tipped wand or transducer head, which resembles a microphone. Ultrasound gel is used on the skin to decrease friction and act as a conductor. 

Ultrasonic waves are generated by the vibration of crystals inside the head of the wand or probe. These sound waves are pulsed at the affected area millions of times per second, causing vibration of the surrounding tissues, which in turn produces heat that is absorbed by connective tissues, ligaments, tendons, fascia, and also by scar tissue.

This type of therapy provides a non-invasive, targeted pain relief without the use of medications or surgery.

The vibration caused by the waves may produce deep heating locally, although patients might feel only a slight sensation of warmth during ultrasound therapy. The treatment usually takes from three to five minutes or sometimes longer, depending on the size of the area receiving treatment. Ultrasound therapy should never hurt or cause discomfort for the patient, and the full effects of treatment are typically felt within 24 hours.

Who Can Benefit From Ultrasound Therapy?

Ultrasound therapy can be effective in treating various conditions, including:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Myofascial pain
  • Scarring
  • Sprains and strains

Ultrasound therapy can speed up the healing process by generating heat to increase blood flow and deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the affected area. Ultrasound has been used to reduce swelling and edema, leading to decreased pain, and it also has been used to soften scar tissue and adhesions through the gentle massage of muscle tendons and ligaments.

Thermal and Mechanical Ultrasound Therapy

There are two types of ultrasound therapy:

  • Thermal ultrasound therapy, which uses a continual diffusion of sound waves to produce a warming effect that encourages soft tissue healing
  • Mechanical ultrasound therapy, in which pulses of sound waves penetrate tissues to help decrease inflammation, reduce swelling of tissues, and decrease pain

Initially ultrasound was thought to provide only a thermal effect to patients, but physical effects resulting from the vibration also have been observed. Studies have shown that the physical stimulation involved with ultrasound therapy enhances cell repair and might help increase collagen formation.

Patient Testimonial

How Can Tuck Chiropractic Clinic Help You?

To learn more about how ultrasound therapy can provide safe and noninvasive benefits to those suffering from chronic pain, please contact Tuck Chiropractic Clinic today to schedule an appointment, or pay a visit to any of our clinics located throughout Virginia and in North Carolina.

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