Ultrasound is a passive therapy, which means this is a treatment that a physical therapist administers. It creates gentle pulsating, penetrating heat that soothes, and relaxes spinal and any other muscles that may be tight, knotted and sore.
It is an added supplemental therapy of the primary treatment like chiropractic, therapeutic stretching, and exercise. Ultrasound releases and warms the muscles and soft tissues thus increasing circulation that speeds recovery/healing.
How does ultrasound work?
The equipment creates high-frequency sound waves that flow through to the tight, knotted area with a round-headed probe. The sound waves flow deep into the muscle tissue and ligaments all the while creating a soothing heat that loosens up the tissues.
The therapist will apply a hypoallergenic gel to the skin, that makes for a smooth moveable surface. Then the therapist goes in gentle, circular motions with the probe, and performs the treatment, that can last several minutes.
Ultrasound can also be utilized when performing phonophoresis. This is a treatment that involves the application of topical anti-inflammatory medications that are mixed with ultrasound gel then applied to the area with the probe. The sound waves force the medicine into the tissues to help reduce inflammation.
Does it hurt?
Absolutely not, the patient will only feel a tingling sensation around the area being treated. There will also be a warming sensation from the sound waves.
The ultrasound probe is glided over the surface, all the while sound waves are penetrating through the skin’s surface, which causes the soft tissues to vibrate, creates muscle tightness soothing/releasing heat. The heat induces vasodilation that draws blood into the tissues that are hurting. The increased blood flow delivers much needed:
- Removes the cell’s waste
The heat relieves pain and inflammation, reduces muscle spasms, and accelerates healing. Depending on the area being treated, the range of motion will be increased.
Shoulder Pain Treatment
Physical therapists also instruct patients on the best way to exercise to enhance overall physical fitness, move about safely (biomechanics and ergonomics), and injury prevention. Physical therapists also help patients with long-term physical incapacity (eg, spinal cord injury).