Since the dawn of ultrasound more than half a century ago, several developments have ensued, thereby doing more than just mere diagnosis of different diseases and conditions. You may be surprised to know that ultrasound today can help relieve ailments, particularly concerning the musculoskeletal system. The treatment approach is also very safe and more cost-effective compared to other modern and traditional methods.
Description of the Treatment
Therapeutic ultrasound has long been used by therapists during the past 50 years in the treatment of injury of soft tissues. Ultrasonic waves or high-frequency sound vibrations are created through the mechanical vibration of the metal head of ultrasound machines. The head is moved back and forth the surface of the skin to assess the area of injury. Gel is placed prior to probing to keep the head in contact with the skin and prevent bubble formation.
Although the full effects of ultrasound in injured tissue is still unknown, thousands of individuals have been successful in treating problems like arthritis and back pains. Practitioners all over the world use the modality depending on both scientific evidence and personal experience.
One of the principles of healing of ultrasound is the enhancement of recovery time of injured soft tissues. The procedure is believed to boost the regular resolution time of the inflammatory response by drawing more mast cells to the injury site. Blood flow increase is very likely afterwards during the sub-acute part of tissue injury.
More collagen may also be produced by the body due to ultrasound machines. Collagen is the primary protein component in soft tissues like ligaments and tendons. Therefore, ultrasound can boost the proliferative stage of tissue healing. The extensibility of mature collagen can also positively treat fibrous scar tissue which develops after injury.
The dosage of the ultrasound treatment will depend on the condition of the patient and the area being scanned. The intensity and frequency will be adjusted. Lower frequencies usually give a bigger depth of penetration and are commonly used when the injured tissue is found deep in the body. High frequencies are used for parts that are found close to the skin surface.
Patients suffering from cancerous or malignant tissue, at risk for hemorrhage, suspected of having a bone fracture, having severely ischemic tissue, having acute infections,having exposed neural tissue, having a history of venous thrombosis and pregnant. The probe should not be used in the gonad region, eyes and active bone growth plates of kids.
The ultrasound machines work by sending sound waves to the surrounding tissue and vasculature. The muscles are penetrated deeply, leading to warming of the muscles and tissues. Tissue relaxation will then relieve spasms and tightness. The sound waves warming the tissues will cause blood vessels to dilate, thereby boosting circulation to the area that aids in the healing process.
Physical therapists can also change the frequency on the ultrasound machine to use the right waves that will minimize inflammation. Presenting symptoms are usually checked by doctors before recommending you for ultrasound. Some of the problems that might lead you to a check-up include poor appetite, vomiting and diarrhea, seizures, abnormal blood test, non-specific weight loss, lethargy, abdominal mass, pregnancy screening, increased drinking or frequent thirst, abnormal urination and heart murmur and collapse.
Check the certification of the professional to ensure that you get accurate results.