Over 50 million American adults (over 20% of the adult population) live in chronic pain. Unfortunately, over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs can cause dangerous side effects like addiction. In order to avoid these risks, many people are turning to alternative forms of treatment, including ultrasound therapy.
What exactly are ultrasound treatments? Is ultrasound therapy effective for treating pain?
Keep reading to find out. In this guide, we’ll review everything you need to know about ultrasound therapy and its potential benefits.
What Is Ultrasound Therapy?
Ultrasound therapy is a type of treatment that’s usually utilized by physical therapists.
Using ultrasound wands, therapists can heat the body’s soft tissue, which is thought to aid the healing process. The soft tissue ideal for ultrasound therapy treatment includes:
The term ultrasound is often associated with diagnostic ultrasounds to see inside the body. This form of ultrasound, however, isn’t diagnostic. Instead, ultrasound therapy is often used for deep heating or non-thermal purposes.
Deep-heating treatments heat focused areas of soft tissue throughout the body. Heating the body’s ligaments, muscles, or tendons can increase blood circulation to those tissues. Your body uses the nutrients in the blood to heal.
Non-thermal treatments, on the other hand, are used to provide the body with energy. The energy creates tiny gas bubbles that undergo a process called cavitation. As the bubbles expand and contract, they’re thought to aid the cellular process.
There are two types of non-thermal, or aviation treatments: stable and unstable. Unstable treatments could potentially damage your tissue.
Make sure to receive ultrasound therapy from a qualified, experienced technician.
It’s theorized that both forms of ultrasound therapy can help heal injured body tissue.
Do Ultrasound Treatments Work?
It’s important to note that ultrasound therapy doesn’t work for everyone. There’s some argument that ultrasound therapy works due to the placebo effect. However, ultrasound therapy could be a supplement to physical therapy.
Ultrasound treatments can help ease the pain associated with orthopedic injuries, including:
- Sprains and ligament injuries
- Strains and tears to the muscles
- Frozen shoulder
- Joint tightness or contracture
When treating ultrasound for pain symptoms, ultrasound works best for soft-tissue injuries. However, your physical therapist might also suggest using ultrasound therapy for:
- Ankle sprains
- Rotator cuff tears
- Knee meniscus tears
- Low back or neck pain
Whether or not treatments work often depends on the severity of your issues.
Focused, low-intensity pulsed ultrasound therapy could also help patients with knee osteoarthritis. Some studies indicate that ultrasound therapy could benefit patients with chronic pain. A session might increase mobility, improve tissue extensibility, and help aid circulation.
While ultrasound therapy might not work for everyone, it’s often worth a try.
Ease the Pain Away and Discover the Benefits of Ultrasound Treatments
Want to find a new way to manage your chronic pain? Consider the potential benefits of ultrasound treatments. With ultrasound therapy, you could potentially speed up your recovery and ease your pain away.
Searching for more ways to reduce your pain? Check out the Health section of the blog today.