Ultrasound therapy is electrotherapy which has been used in physiotherapy practices. It is mainly used for its non-thermal effect, where high-frequency sound waves cause cellular fluids vibrations and movement.
The proposed benefits of ultrasound therapy include the following:
- Improving the healing rate of specific soft tissues.
- Increase blood flow to an area to accelerate the inflammatory process’s resolution time.
- Stimulate the production of collagen (the main protein in tendons and ligaments) during tissue healing.
Common Injuries Treated With Ultrasound
- Muscle Strain and tears
- Ligament and tendon injuries
What to Expect During Ultrasound Physical Therapy
On the day of the therapy, you should wear comfortable clothing that you can easily take off. Most of the time, the physiotherapist performing the procedure will assess the area without having you remove your clothes or wear a gown.
Before starting the therapy, the physiotherapist will inspect the skin for infections, burns, or active wounds. If your skin is clear, then the therapist will apply a hypoallergenic gel or cream to your skin. A transducer (sound head) attached to the ultrasound machine will be placed onto the gel and moved in small circles by the physiotherapist. The physiotherapist will set the machine to deliver the required depth and intensity of the sound wave.
You will most likely not feel anything happening throughout the ultrasound treatment. If you do experience discomfort or pain, let your physiotherapist know immediately.
How Safe Is It?
Ultrasound therapy is a safe and innocuous treatment technique. However, there are situations when ultrasound therapy is not appropriate. Your qualified physiotherapist will ensure that it is an appropriate technique for you and discuss it with you. Certain examples where it would not be used are; over body parts with cancer, pregnant women and children.