You may be surprised to know that ultrasound machines are not only useful for diagnosis, but for treatment as well. Several ways have been discovered on how high frequency sound can be beneficial for speedy and full recovery. The process is used in a variety of fields and specialties, depending on the needs of the patient. It is considered a very safe method, and is also more cost-effective compared to other traditional tools.
About the Therapy
Ultrasound therapy involves high frequency sound vibrations creating heat that can minimize pain sensations. It can treat several conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis and other musculoskeletal injuries. The process is usually performed during occupational, manipulation therapy and physical therapy wherein it creates heat to affected cells and tissues.
Some of the known benefits are the reduction of nerve root irritation, healing enhancement without irritation, break up and soften scar tissue and adhesions, minimize chronic inflammation and swelling and enhancement of the natural healing processes of the body. Overall, ultrasound is considered very safe and useful. It has a number of risks, like the possibility of patients to have burns. Individuals should consult their doctor first before attempting to receive therapeutic ultrasound.
Some contraindications of the therapy include pregnancy, presence of a pacemaker and scanning of the reproductive organs, heart, eyes and skull. The tool is kept from areas that are usually affected by cancer. Therapeutic ultrasound is different from diagnostic ultrasound since weaker sound waves are used to make images of the structures inside.
Some of the professionals who can recommend you to take ultrasound therapy are chiropractors, physical therapists, occupational therapists and athletic coaches. Speech language pathologists may also refer patients who have dysphagia or problems with swallowing. Before conducting thermotherapy or diathermy, your doctor will need to take your medical background and conduct a physical exam to ensure that the process is appropriate.
Your doctor may ask you where you are feeling pain and how intense it is. The duration of the pain will also be considered, together with its frequency. Tell your doctor if you have any problem with movement due to the pain.
Therapeutic ultrasound machines can also be used for other modalities like electrical therapy, cryotherapy and hot pack. The patient will be asked to sit or lie on a padded table for the procedure. A coupling agent or ultrasound gel will be applied to ensure that the transducer is in contact with your skin. The intensity, duration and frequency of the treatment will depend on the patient’s condition and health objectives.
The practitioner will place the transducer over the affected area and begin scanning back and forth in circular motions. Hot spots and burns can be avoided by moving the ultrasound head constantly over the entire treatment site. Ultrasound waves can be applied in either pulsed or continuous mode. During pulsed mode, ultrasound machine waves are sent intermittently to prevent tissue heating. Cell wall permeability is still enhanced, however. During continuous mode, ultrasound waves are constantly sent to the affected area.
You should feel comfortable heat or no sensation during the procedure. The whole treatment, in most cases, lasts only between 5 to 10 minutes. You can resume regular activities such as driving after or go directly to exercise therapy as indicated by your doctor.