How We Use Therapeutic Ultrasound
Therapeutic ultrasound is a treatment option that has been prevalent in physiotherapy since the 1940s. We have the capability to apply therapeutic ultrasound in ALL of our Healthsure Physiotherapy clinics.
What is it?
Therapeutic Ultrasound is performed through use of an ultrasound probe, which is directly applied in contact with your skin, and through which Ultrasonic waves are transmitted. We also use a coupling gel, which overcomes the resistive nature of air, and allows smooth consistent transmission of the Ultrasonic Signal into the affected area.
Therapeutic ultrasound is a research backed method demonstrated to contribute to an increase in:
- Healing rates
- Heating of tissue
- Localised blood flow
- Relaxation of tissue
- Breakdown of scar tissue.
How Can Ultrasound Help Me?
The effect of ultrasound can;
- Increase local blood flow and help reduce local swelling and chronic inflammation.
- Promote or support bone fracture healing. (According to some studies).
- Breakdown Scar Tissue at greater power density (measured in watt/cm2) The intensity or power density of the ultrasound can be adjusted depending on the desired effect. All of our devices at Healthsure Physiotherapy have this feature.
Ultrasound can be used to treat soft tissue injuries such as tendonitis, non-acute joint swelling and muscle spasm, as well as benefiting most muscle and ligament injuries.
What’s Involved in Ultrasound Treatment ?
The probe generate ultrasonic waves through a natural phenomenon known as piezoelectric effect, achieved by the excitation of crystals within the probe head; these waves harmlessly pass through skin, and instigate a vibration of the local soft tissues. This vibration leads to molecular level friction causing a heating of the tissues, though no sensation of heat will typically be felt by the patient.
In situations where a heating effect is not desired, such as a patients presenting with recent injury and acute inflammation, the ultrasonic wave frequency can be adjusted to that of a pulsed pattern, as opposed to continuous transmission.
Typical treatment takes 3–5 minutes, however In situations where the desired outcome is scar tissue breakdown, treatment time can be significantly longer.
During your session, your chartered Healthsure Physiotherapist shall ensure they keep the head of the ultrasound probe in consistent and constant motion. When constant motion is achieved, we ensure you feel no discomfort at all, whilst also ensuring maximum benefit is achieved.
Should I Be Worried?
Like all specialised medical equipment, when used by qualified, trained professionals (just like your Healthsure physiotherapist) ultrasound is unlikely to cause any adverse effects. Of course we would always recommend a discussion with your Healthsure Physiotherapist to understand their expert opinion on the best application for you.
We wouldn’t recommend therapeutic ultrasound on areas where there is obvious local acute infection, vascular abnormalities, nor would we ever apply ultrasound directly on the abdomen of pregnant women.
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Also published on Medium.