When you think of ultrasound, you’re probably thinking of diagnostic ultrasound to look inside of a pregnant uterus or another organ like a gall bladder or kidney. You may be wondering why I would need an ultrasound unit, since I don’t treat pregnant women. Therapeutic ultrasound is a little different. I’m really excited about my new “toy”, a Mettler therapeutic ultrasound unit.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to penetrate ligaments, tendons, muscles, fascia, and scar tissue. Energy absorption in soft tissue can penetrate about 3-5 centimeters (depending on the varying frequency–1-3MHz).
Ultrasound can help to increase blood flow, break adhesions (or scar tissue), reduce inflammation, break up calcium deposits, reduce nerve irritation, warm muscular tissue, and ultimately reduce pain.
This therapy is great for wound healing, plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, chronic joint swelling, muscle spasms, bursitis, osteoarthritis, shingles, low back pain, thickening of fascia in the hand (Dupuytren’s contracture), among other things. As an added benefit, ultrasound can be used to drive in certain medications through the skin (as opposed to an injection). Sounds like a better option to me!
Treatment lasts about 5-10 minutes, depending on the area being treated.
I’m sure you’ll notice the machine when you come to see me at your next visit. I’ve seen it do some pretty amazing things for stubborn injuries and areas that don’t seem to respond to massage therapy.
Photos taken from http://mettlerelectronics.com/therultra.htm