Therapeutic ultrasound is a treatment commonly used in chiropractic offices to provide deep heating to soft tissues in the body. These tissues include muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments.Ultrasound Therapy is different than diagnostic ultrasound (Which is also utilized in our office). With the latter, healthcare providers use ultrasound to see the inside of the body. For example, diagnostic ultrasound lets healthcare providers check on a fetus during pregnancy, or look at injured tendons in the shoulder.Therapeutic ultrasound is used to heat tissues and introduce energy into the body.
Deep Heating:Ultrasound can provide deep heating to soft tissue structures in the body. Deep heating tendons, muscles, or ligaments could have the following benefitsIncrease circulation to tissuesSpeed the healing processDecrease painIncrease elasticity
Non-Thermal Effects: In addition to heat, ultrasound introduces energy into the body. This energy causes microscopic gas bubbles around your tissues to expand and contract rapidly, a process called cavitation.It is theorized that the expansion and contraction of these bubbles help speed cellular processes and help injured tissue heal faster.
Inside your doctors’ ultrasound unit is a small crystal. When an electrical charge hits this crystal, it vibrates rapidly, creating piezoelectric waves (an electric charge that accumulates in some solid materials). These waves emit from the ultrasound sound head as ultrasound waves.
During treatment, the ultrasound wave then enters into your injured tissues. This exposure to ultrasonic waves increases blood flow and cavitation, leading to the theorized benefits of the treatment.
Ultrasound therapy may be potentially helpful in treating pain associated with several conditions:Neck painChronic back painMyofascial pain syndrome, which describes recurring pain and spasms in an area of the bodyOsteoarthritis, often referred to as "wear-and-tear" arthritis of the jointsNerve painTendonitis, or when the tissue that connects the bones to the muscles becomes irritatedBursitis, or when the fluid-filled sacs in the joints become inflamed