What is therapeutic ultrasound?
Therapeutic ultrasound has been used as a treatment technique since the 1950’s and it remains a popular treatment for a range of clinical problems. It is the production of mechanical energy created by the vibration of a quartz crystal, which is situated inside the treatment head. When the crystal vibrates sound waves are created and these waves are then passed into the tissues. Gel is applied to the area of skin in order to reduce friction and the ultrasound head is moved around on the affected area. Ultrasound may create a mild heating effect, if so please let the therapist know of any warmth or pain immediately and treatment will be terminated.
What are the benefits of therapeutic ultrasound?
When the sound waves enter the injured tissues, it causes particles within the tissue to vibrate. This stimulates healing by increasing cellular activity and blood flow, thus decreasing inflammation and it optimises the repair and remodelling stage of the healing process. It also aids in the breakdown of scar tissue and helps with tissue relaxation.
What injuries can it treat?
Soft tissue injuries such as tendinopathy, ligament sprains, muscle spasm and to break down excess build-up of scar tissue.
Are there any side effects?
There may be mild short-lasting side effects that could occur including skin discolouration, difficulty breathing, dizziness, nausea and disorientation.