Ultrasound, better known as therapeutic ultrasound, uses high-frequency sound waves that are transferred through the skin and into the muscles, ligaments, and joints, causing an increase in tissue temperature, blood flow and specifically, the breakdown of scar tissue. The high frequencies absorbed by the tissue produce molecular motion. This motion causes friction between particles and thus, with sufficient ultrasound intensity tissue temperature rises and scar tissue softens up. With the addition of muscle and joint massage combined with joint motion, kinetic function or flexibility is improved. Ultrasound has other benefits such as repair and increase of cell and tissue membrane permeability.
What Conditions Are Treated With Ultrasound?
Common conditions such as sprain/strain injuries of muscles, ligaments, and joints are excellently treated with ultrasound, as well as tendinitis, bursitis, myositis, and spinal joints and extremities. The use of ultrasound is excellent in the breakdown of scar tissue buildup in arthritic joints, as well as the breakdown of scar tissue in the muscle and ligaments, usually produced after surgical procedures. At Desert Physical Medicine, our doctors combine the use of ultrasound therapy in their treatment of a variety of spinal joint, and conditions, with a combination of myotherapy and mobilization to increase overall function and bring the joint into normal range of motion.
Is Ultrasound Painful?
Therapeutic ultrasound produces soft tissue warmth and at times a vibration sensation is reported by patients receiving it. Usually, patients report an enhanced feeling of blood flow.
How Long is the Treatment Session?
Most therapeutic ultrasound treatments are 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the body part treated. The frequency of treatment is usually three times a week for four to five weeks.
Is There Any Side Effects?
Most people report a mild soreness following 24 hours of treatment, but the soreness usually subsides within 24 hours.