Whenever you are in pain, you would do everything you can to get out of it. When a person faces the pain card, he/she would go to greater heights and pay for anything just to get a sense of relief from the pain he/she is feeling. The effects of pain can be profound. It can make people feel weak, frustrated, and less motivated and it makes them lose the will to live a better life.
When you have an illness and you suffer from pain, that comes and goes. You will willingly spend a great deal of money to get relief from pain. Fortunately, health professionals have discovered a lot of alternatives that can help with pain nowadays.
In this article, we will explore Ultrasound Physical Therapy, a therapy that is believed to help reduce pain. This discussion explains how it works, how to use it, what are the risks, and the benefits we will gain from it.
What is Ultrasound Physical Therapy?
The field of ultrasound physical therapy falls under the ultrasound category alongside diagnostic ultrasound and pregnancy imaging. In terms of sound waves, ultrasonic waves are sound waves that can be detected beyond the human ear. The frequency of these waves is close to 0.8 to 3.0 MHz, but what we hear is somewhere between 20 and 60 Hz. These waves generate heat and motion within the body in order to promote healing within the body. It is used to detect and treat musculoskeletal problems you may suffer from, such as pain, tissue injury, and muscle spasms.
There are two kinds of therapeutic ultrasound: thermal and mechanical
While Mechanical Therapeutic Ultrasound, also known as Cavitation Ultrasound Therapy is a method in which sound waves within the tissue fluids create pressure differences, causing bubbles to form.
When these bubbles interact with solid objects, they burst and create shockwaves. These shockwaves are helpful and can break down kidney stones, scar tissues, etc.
How Does Ultrasound Physical Therapy Work?
The ultrasound machine works by sending an electric current through crystals. It has frequencies between 800000Hz and 2000000Hz found in a transducer or ultrasound wand.
This wand is used to administer ultrasound waves to patients. It is positioned on their skin with a protective gel.
As a result, the sound waves will penetrate the body. It generates heat and increases blood flow which will relax the muscles and connective tissues, reducing pain.
Stimulating the tissues can speed up the healing of certain injuries. The treatment times for any one area are between 3 and 5 minutes.
Is Ultrasound Physical Therapy effective?
Ever since the 1930s, physical therapists had been using ultrasound for treatment. They used it for pain management and deep healing. During the research, it considered ultrasound a cure-all tool for pain. They use it for everything from painful arthritis joints to ulcers.
While the FDA’s approved ultrasound treatments for certain pain conditions, other uses of it are still for approval.
Currently, ultrasound treatment is effective in preventing chronic pain in the early stages.
It can be a non-invasive method of treatment for some patients.
Risks of Ultrasound Physical Therapy
Even if ultrasound physical therapy does not cause any side effects, longer use of it can lead to skin burns. Make sure you don’t rub too much on your skin.
The shockwaves produced by the Cavitation Ultrasound treatments may cause slight irritation on the skin.
If you are in pain, your physician will prescribe sedatives or anesthesia.
Internal bleeding and scarring are possible to happen. But it will depend on how long was the procedure and the amount of shockwave you are exposed to.
Although ultrasound has no side effects, we do not recommend it in certain situations. There are instances such as:
- Over open wounds
- Over areas of decreased sensation
- Over metastatic lesions or any active areas of cancer
- Over parts of the body with metal implants
- Over fractured bones
- Over an area of acute infection
- Around the eyes, breasts, or sexual organs
- Near or over a pacemaker
Benefits of Ultrasound Physical Therapy
The use of therapeutic ultrasound for acute pain management is subject to many opinions.
There are some people who believe it does not affect the rehabilitation process at all, while there are others who disagree.
In essence, ultrasound therapy is better than those electric stimulations, infrared therapy, or ice.
With ultrasound therapy:
- It is straightforward and painless and would take between 10 and 20 minutes at most.
- No need for sedatives or anesthesia.
- Using an ultrasonic therapy machine does not cause any side effects.
- Since it is non-invasive, it is safer than other options.
The use of Ultrasound Physical Therapy can provide you with a lot of benefits. Let’s explore each of them.
- Reduce Pain – The ultrasound also decreases muscle spasms while healing your body’s deep tissue. These spasms and muscle tightness connect back to the root cause of your pain.
When combined with other therapeutic treatments, ultrasound therapy machines can make the treatments more effective.
- Boost Blood Flow – Ultrasound therapy causes your blood vessels to grow larger, which increases blood flow.
As blood flow increases, it delivered more nutrients to your injury while it will carry away toxins or waste, which will enhance healing.
- Relax Tissue Tension – This provides the deep heat that your tissues need to get rid of tension. Ultrasound affects the metabolism of these soft cell tissues.
- Increased range of motion – Ultrasound therapy machines produce vibrations that prevent scar tissue from forming.
By breaking down scar tissue, you can increase your range of motion and maintain it for a longer period.
- Reduce swelling and inflammation – In 2002, they conducted a research study on ultrasound therapy for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
The study found that ultrasound applied to the hand increased grip strength.
In addition, they found that:
- It enhances wrist mobility.
- It decreases morning stiffness.
- It reduces the number of swollen and painful joints.
The Ultrasound Physical Therapy procedure is painless and completely safe.
The FDA has approved alternative medications like this one for treating chronic and acute pain issues.
Because it is a very low risk for most people, it may be worth trying, especially if you are suffering from ongoing pain and want sweet relief.