Ultrasound Therapy has been used by physical therapists since the 1940s. To administer the treatment, ultrasound gel is applied to the rounded head wand or probe which is then put in direct contact with the patient’s skin. The gel assists in the transmission of the ultrasonic waves which pass through the skin setting up vibrations in local tissues.
The vibrations cause a deep heating effect locally, with the patient normally feeling no sensation of this heat. There are circumstances in which the heating effect is not desired (such as a fresh injury with acute inflammation) and for these the ultrasound is pulsed rather than continuously transmitted.
- Speeds up of the healing process due to increased local blood flow
- Decrease in pain as swelling and chronic inflammation are reduced
- Softening scar tissue with gentle massage of muscles, tendons, and ligaments without applying excessive force.
Some Conditions Treated:
- tendinitis or inflammation of a tendon
- non-acute joint swelling
- muscle spasms
- breaking down of scar tissue
- promoting bone fracture healing
Ultrasound is not advised if the following apply:
- metal implants
- acute infection
- active growth plates (as in children)
- malignancy, or vascular abnormalities.
Other areas to be avoided are directly on the abdomen of pregnant women, as well as over the eyes, skull, testes and those areas where an individual has had a laminectomy of the spine.