Dr. Theresa Martez' blogspot

Inspiration For Healthy Living

Ultrasound Therapy? But I’m not pregnant! March 1, 2010

Filed under: Physical Medicine — Theresa Martez @ 8:57 PM

 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

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6 Responses to “Ultrasound Therapy? But I’m not pregnant!”

  1. Rachel Says:

    Do you think that It would help Nate with some of the neck stuff?

  2. Dalton Says:

    I have early stage Dupuytren’s Contracture. What risks might there be to ultrasound therapy for me? I am intrigued by needle aponeurotomy but ultrasound looks like another approach worth taking–less invasive. Can you comment?

    Thanks–Dalton, PHX, AZ

    • Hi Dalton,
      Thanks so much for your question. Ultrasound does have some contraindications, which include the following:
      *If a cardiac pacemaker is present
      *An area that has diminished pain sensitivity
      *An area with heat sensitivity
      *Pregnancy
      *On the eye, brain, spine, reproductive organs, or exposed nerve tissue
      *On cancercous tissues, or areas where a tumor has formed
      *Over epiphyseal plates in growing children
      *Open wounds with blood or body fluids
      *Blood vessels in poor condition, or if thrombophlebitis is present
      *An area with a metal implant
      *Acute fractures

      Assuming you have none of these issues, I think ultrasound for Dupuytren’s contracture would be a great option to try first!
      Dr. Martez

  3. Stacy Says:

    So excited to have this modality available for patients that come to our clinic. I’m planning to try this myself for a stubborn ganglion cyst in my wrist. If I remember, I’ll take before and after photos!

  4. Diane G. Cooke Says:

    I have had remarkable results from a Physical Therapist that used ultrasound and several other modalities on me after a car accident many years ago. The effect was immediate and quite a surprise to me. I regained function immediately, range of motion returned, pain was gone.

    Same therapist taught me about ice rubs to decrease inflammation and ease pain. Hard to get used to at first, but again, the results were amazing. I learned sometimes it has to hurt a little bit to feel better. Not that it really hurts. But it can be hard to tolerate ice therapy. Now I even enjoy it, when I remember that is.

    All these modalities work if we remember about them. Happy you got the new toy! Can’t wait to help you break it in some more. 🙂

    Time to come in and see you again. Health matters!


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