Therapeutic Ultrasound Therapy

Therapeutic ultrasound has been used as a treatment for musculoskeletal injuries over the last 50 years

therapeutic-ultrasound-therapy-in-atlantaHow does ultrasound therapy work?

High frequency sound waves that are not audible to the human ear are produced by means of inducing vibrations in crystals within the metal treatment head of the ultrasound machine hand piece. The treatment head is then moved over the surface of the area of the injury transmitting the energy deep into the underlying muscles, tendons and ligaments.

The high frequency sound waves can not be transmitted through air so a special ultrasound gel is placed on the skin to ensure maximal contact between the treatment head and the surface of the skin and to allow transmission of the sound waves from the head of the hand piece into the body.

Effects of therapeutic ultrasound

The exact mechanism of action of the effect of high frequency sound waves on injured tissue is not yet known. Nevertheless, the clinical experience of physicians and physical therapists has show the treatment to be effective and therefore it continues to be a staple of treatment for pain from musculoskeletal injures. The following are some theories on how the ultrasonic sound waves work:

Thermal effect

As the ultrasound waves pass from the treatment head into the skin and then to deep tissues they cause the surrounding tissues, particularly those that contain collagen and water, to vibrate. This increased vibration leads to the production of heat within the tissue. In most cases this cannot be felt by the patient themselves. This increase in temperature may cause an increase in the extensibility of structures such as ligaments, tendons, scar tissue and fibrous joint capsules. In addition, heating may also help to reduce pain and muscle spasm and promote the healing process.

Effects on the inflammatory and repair processes

One of the greatest proposed benefits of ultrasound therapy is that it is thought to reduce the healing time of certain soft tissue injuries.

Ultrasound is thought to accelerate the normal resolution time of the inflammatory process by attracting more mast cells to the site of injury. This may cause an increase in blood flow which can be beneficial in the sub-acute phase of tissue injury. As blood flow may be increased it is not advised to use ultrasound immediately after injury.

Ultrasound may also stimulate the production of more collagen which is the main protein component in soft tissue such as tendons and ligaments. Hence ultrasound may accelerate the the proliferative phase of tissue healing. It is thought to improve the extensibility of mature collagen and so can have a positive effect to on fibrous scar tissue which may form after an injury.

Application of ultrasound

Ultrasound is normally applied by use of a small metal treatment head which emits the ultrasonic beam. This is moved continuously over the injured area for approximately 3-5 mins. Treatments may be repeated 1-2 times daily in more acute injuries and less frequently in chronic cases.

Ultrasound dosage can be varied either in intensity or frequency of the ultrasound beam. Simply speaking lower frequency application provides a greater depth of penetration and so is used in cases where the injured tissue is suspected to be deeply situated. Conversely, higher frequency doses are used for structures that are closer to the surface of skin.

Pricing & Specials

  • 10 to 15 minutes: $200
  • 20 to 30 minutes $300
  • 45 to 60 minutes $500

Discounts for multiple sessions are available

  • Buy 3 sesions and get the 4th session free
  • Buy 5 session and get 2 free sessions

Indications to ultrasound

  • Muscle spasms or “knots” in muscles that restrict movement and cause pain
  • inflammation of the skeletal muscles (myositis),
  • soft tissue injuries from sports or other causes.
  • adhesive capsulitis (“frozen shoulder”, or pain and stiffness in the shoulder caused by inflammation),
  • calcific bursitis (the calcification of bursa sacs due to prolonged inflammation, usually in the shoulder),
  • Ultrasound therapy is also used to treat tendons that have been shortened from untreated scar tissue or past injuries.

Contraindications to ultrasound

As ultrasound is thought to affect the tissue repair process and so it may affect diseased tissue tissue in an abnormal fashion. Therefore a number of contraindications should be followed when using therapeutic ultrasound.  Do not use if the patient suffers from:

  • Malignant or cancerous tissue
  • Acute infections
  • Risk of haemorrhage
  • Severely ischemic tissue
  • Recent history of venous thrombosis
  • Exposed neural tissue
  • Suspicion of a bone fracture
  • If the patient is pregnant
  • Do not use in the region of the gonads (sex organs), the active bone growth plates of children, or the eye