While ultrasound therapy is not useful for all types of chronic pain conditions, it can be used to reduce pain in many different situations. Ultrasound therapy can be performed by physical and occupational therapists as well as other providers to help patients with pain related to one of several conditions.
Ultrasound therapy can assist in reducing pain due to:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Phantom limb pain
Pain from scar tissue
There are two types of ultrasound therapy including thermal and mechanical. Thermal ultrasound therapy uses the continuous transmission of sound waves to increase the heat and fiction deep in the tissues. This warming encourages healing.
Mechanical ultrasound therapy uses pulses of sound waves to penetrate the tissues, which has a less-significant warming effect. It directly helps reduce the inflammatory response, including decreasing pain and tissue swelling.
During ultrasound therapy, a therapist selects an area of the body to work on for between five and ten minutes. A gel will be applied to the head of the transducer or to your skin directly. That gel helps the sound waves travel smoothly and penetrate the skin evenly. The transducer head will be moved continually during the therapy.
This is not an intrusive technique, so most patients have no pain or discomfort. However, if the area that is being treated is sensitive to the touch, then you may feel some discomfort as the transducer is used in that region. Some people have stated that they felt slight warmth on their skin, while others reported a mild pulsing sensation during the therapy.
Yes. The FDA has stated that it is safe so long as it is performed by a licensed professional and that the transducer head is moved at all times. If the transducer is not moved regularly, there is a potential for burns, though this is highly unlikely.
Our chiropractor is happy to talk to you more about ultrasound therapy and how it may help you. Call us today at (843) 225-4357 to speak with one of our helpful team members about how we can help you reduce your pain and move forward with better health.