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How Does Ultrasound Therapy Work?

How does Ultrasound Therapy Work?

Ultrasound Therapy is treatment modality that we use on patients to treat sports injuries and/or other muscle related injuries. Sound waves at a high frequency cannot be distinguished by the human ear but can be used to transmit energy in to the tissues by a means of mechanical vibration. A small metal treatment head will be used to transmit the ultrasound beam or waves.

A special ultrasound gel will be placed on the skin and will act as a medium between the metal head and the skin through which the sound waves will travel. Every treatment varies depending on the target tissue, but most last from about 3-5 minutes; and the ultrasound head will be kept in constant motion as it glided along the targeted area. As the ultrasound waves travel from the metal head into the skin it will cause vibration in the targeted tissues, especially the tissues that contain collagen.

Collagen is the main structural protein that is found in skin and connective tissues.  The increased stimulation of the collagen fibres within the tissues will cause heat to be produced. In many cases, this is not felt by the patients. The increase in temperature many cause an increase in extensibility of structures such as ligaments, tendons, scar tissue, and fibrous joint capsules.

The increase in temperature may also help to reduce pain and muscle spasm, and promote the healing process of the targeted tissue. Ultrasound therapy is thought to attract more mast cells to the site of injury, and this will allow for an increase in blood flow which is most beneficial in the sub-acute (middle) phase of the tissue injury. Ultrasound therapy is not used on malignant or cancerous tissues, infections, patients with haemorrhage, ischemic tissue, bone fractures, and if the patient is pregnant. Ultrasound therapy is not be used around sex organs, the active bone growth plates of children, or the eye.

We provide Therapeutic Ultrasound as part of our Physiotherapy and Acupuncture treatment plans. Call us today to book your appointment!

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