If you have experience and injury or deal with arthritis pain you may require physical therapy to help reduce the pain and increase mobility and function. When the pain is a result of injury, or degeneration in soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments, therapeutic ultrasound deep heat therapy is commonly used as treatment.
Ultrasound waves penetrate the skin creating a molecular vibration that naturally warms the injured or damaged tissue relieving pain and encouraging the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
How Does it Work?
Ultrasound therapy has been used in physical therapy practices for the last five decades providing heat to injuries sustained deep within your body that can not be reached through traditional methods such as patches or heating pads.
Ultrasound can also help with cellular functions through a process known as cavitation which creates tiny gas bubbles that contract and expand at a rapid rate. This process helps to increase the natural healing in the affected area.
The ultrasound used attracts mast cells to the damaged area, these cells help promote new growth of blood vessels while controlling the function of other cells and triggering a boost in the immune system. It also stimulates the production of collagen which is necessary for tissue health. When these sound waves are administered to painful areas inflammation and swelling begins to decrease as blood flow increases and scar tissue contracts.
Benefits of Ultrasound Therapy
Deep heat therapy is commonly used to treat chronic back pain associated with degenerative disorders within the discs in the spine. It has also shown great results in relieving pain
due to other conditions that include:
- Arthritis/ Osteoarthritis
- Muscle/ ligament strains and sprains
- Myofascial pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Scar tissue
- Sports injuries
Ultrasound therapy is a non-invasive way to treat soft tissue damage and may require multiple treatments per week depending on the severity of the condition. Typically the pain is resolved with the therapy and the soft tissue is renewed and can return to maximum function within a month or two.
It is important that if ultrasound is recommended during your physical therapy that you understand what it does and how your therapist plans to use it in your recovery. Playing an active role in your care can help you continue to improve independently once your therapy has ended.