Therapeutic ultrasound is a treatment modality typically used in physical therapy. It has been used for quite some time to better circulation and tissue healing.
If you have an injury such as bursitis, tendonitis, or arthritis you may need some physical therapy to help reduce pain and better your function. Your physical therapist may choose to apply therapeutic ultrasound to your injured body part as part of your rehabilitation program.
How Ultrasound Works
A majority of experienced Palmdale Physical Therapist will tell you that therapeutic ultrasound is a treatment that has been used in physical therapy clinics for over 50 years. It provides heat to injured body parts that lie deep within your body that can’t be heated with a standard hot pack alone.
Additionally, ultrasound is also thought to improve cellular function by making microscopic gas bubbles near your injury expand and contract rapidly, a process called cavitation. This expansion and contraction are thought to speed up the healing process in your injured body part.
How is Ultrasound Produced?
An electrical charge is applied to a crystal, creating a piezo-electric effect. This helps generate ultrasonic waves. These sound waves cannot be heard, but they are able to pass in through your skin and to tissues, heating them and causing cavitation.
Heating Effects of Ultrasound
Palmdale Physical Therapist say that a review of published studies about ultrasound indicates that it indeed does heat your body parts when applied the right way. Furthermore, it also heats parts of your body that are deep and located outside of the reach of standard hot packs.
So if you have an injury and your physical therapist feels that heat may be required to help your condition, ultrasound is a great decision.
Can Ultrasound Cause Pain?
Most Palmdale Physical Therapist will tell you that ultrasound is a pretty safe and innocuous treatment in physical therapy. There are a few instances where ultrasound should absolutely not be applied, such as over body parts with cancer and in young children, but for the most part, it can aid in safely heating injured parts of your body.
Since many studies show that ultrasound offers very little to assist in speed healing in your injured body part, some physical therapists feel that ultrasound can “hurt” by making you feel as if you need it to get better.