For the last 80 years, ultrasound therapy has been used as a non-invasive procedure to treat a wide variety of ailments. It is often used to treat swelling, particularly when the swelling is spread over a larger area than usual. It also can be used for phonophoresis, which is when medicine is run through the skin without injection. This makes ultrasound therapy suitable when typical methods are unsuitable for a patient, like one who is scared of needles, or haemophiliacs.
The best way to describe ultrasound therapy is by simply thinking of ultrasounds given to pregnant women, because the technology is essentially the same. Small, handheld probes are placed on the treatment area combined with gel or cream, which can be medicated, depending on the condition in question. The probe vibrates, sending waves through the skin and into the whole body. These waves cause the underlying tissue to vibrate, which can have a variety of benefits which we will look at below.
In general, ultrasound therapy sessions will last no longer than 5 minutes. This simply involves applying the gel or cream, then rubbing the probe round the affected area.