Ultrasound physiotherapy is a treatment method that is used nowadays in physical therapy. It helps in healing soft tissues like muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints by deep heating them. It should be noted here that ultrasound therapy in physiotherapy is not the same as diagnostic ultrasound. The former is used to heal tissues while the latter is used to see inner body parts of a human being. One is a treatment method while the other is a diagnostic method.
Ultrasound in physiotherapy is used to produce two different kinds of effects:
Deep heating is also used to stretch the muscles that have become tight due to some reason. People suffering from shoulder pain, or frozen shoulder are often given deep heat with the use of ultrasound in physiotherapy. The deep helps in increasing the extensibility of shoulder tissues.
The science behind ultrasonic physiotherapy is very simple. There is a small crystal place inside the ultrasonic machine for physiotherapy. When the electricity button is switched on, an electric charge passes through the crystal. The crystal starts vibrating and emits waves called piezoelectric waves. These piezoelectric waves are then converted into ultrasound waves when they are emitted from the ultrasound sound head. Once the ultrasound waves enter your body, it produces heat and cavitation. We have already explained how heat and cavitation help in healing injured tissues in the body.
Ultrasound machines have a sound head that emits ultrasound waves. A special gel is applied to the need body part and then the sound head of the ultrasound machines is moved around the body part. While moving the machine, your therapist might control various aspects of soundwaves. For example, the depth of penetration and the intent
This is the general method of performing ultrasound physiotherapy. There can be special conditions when the body part is part is bumpy or if there is some open wound. Extra care has to be taken care of especially in the case of open wounds because bacteria and other pathogens can enter into your body with the gel and the sound head.
To treat the inflammation around any tissue, physiotherapists use a topical medication. This medication is combined with the gel before performing an ultrasound. This process of using topical medical medication in ultrasound physiotherapy is called phonophoresis.
It is most likely that you will not feel anything except tingling and warm sensation while your physiotherapist will perform the physiotherapeutic ultrasound. However, if the sound head is not moved in circles and is rested on just one place, you might sense pain. Tell your therapist if you feel pain anytime in the procedure.
Therapeutic ultrasound is a very effective treatment method for healing. It is even very safe compared to a few other methods but there are special conditions when you should not opt for the ultrasound. These conditions are:
Ultrasound in physiotherapy is mostly used in the treatment of orthopedic injuries. For example:
In general, ultrasound is used where injury of soft-tissues like ligaments, joints, and tendons is involved. Other than that, it is also used to treat the pain of back and neck, ankle sprain, etc.
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