As a therapeutic modality, ultrasound is a form of heat treatment for soft tissue injuries to minimize swelling and pain, reduce muscle spasms, and increase the range of motion. Making high frequency sound waves, ultrasound reaches deep into an injured area, creating heat that draws blood into the area in order to improve the repairing process.
Ultrasound is applied gently with a handheld soundhead, using strokes or circles over the pain stricken area. An ultrasound gel may be applied during the ultrasound therapy session.
Physical therapists, athletic trainers and others use therapeutic ultrasound to treat painful conditions and to promote tissue healing. Ultrasound is used therapeutically to aid in the healing process. Ultrasound increased the blood flow in the treated area to speed the healing process. It can decrease pain by reducing swelling and edema. An ultrasound wave is a gentle soft tissue massage and heals damaged tissues and softens scar tissue.
Ultrasound technology at higher frequencies may be used to image soft tissue structures, internal organs, and fetuses in a mother’s womb. When ultrasound is used for diagnostic purposes it is referred to a sonogram. In musculoskeletal medicine, sonography is fast becoming a very useful imaging modality for both diagnostic and interventional purposes. Practitioners of musculoskeletal ultrasound can assess tendons, ligaments, nerves, bone and joints in the comfort of their clinic. There is no risk of radiation to the patient and there is good image quality and diagnostic accuracy. Providers can deliver injected medications to appropriate tissue targets with unbelievable accuracy and safety that often is not available with other image guidance techniques.