How Does Ultrasound Therapy Work?
The first thought that comes to mind regarding ultrasound is usually that of a scan for internal imagery used to monitor different stages in pregnancies or those used for organs imagery prior to and after surgery. Those images or rather sonograms are results of ultrasound being beamed into the body which subsequently bounces off tissues or organs allowing computers to convert the wave patterns into imageries.
Ultrasound is a high frequency sound wave that the human ears are unable to pick up. However, the very same ultrasound used for internal imagery has also been found capable of heating up targeted body parts, breaking down, or even destroying abnormal tissues found within the body without having to go through evasive surgery of sorts, all depending on the focus and intensity of the ultrasound beam used. With technological advancements, the ability to create and manipulate ultrasound has opened a whole different world of treatments and therapies alike.
Who Would Benefit from Ultrasound Therapy?
Physiotherapists are trained to perform ultrasound therapy and can assess individuals who are suitable for ultrasound therapy. Just to name a few, individuals suffering from strains and sprains, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and pain caused by scar tissues, are found to have greatly benefitted from ultrasound therapy. Many patients who went through ultrasound therapy would find that it helps greatly with pain management in a few sessions, and some even on the very first session. However, in the long run, one would benefit from healing properties brought about by ultrasound therapy citing the ability to promote regeneration of injured tissues and muscles.
Ultrasound as a Form of Therapy
For close to eight decades, ultrasound has been widely studied owing to its versatility allowing for a myriad of uses especially for its therapeutic benefits. Most studies revolve around low intensity therapeutic ultrasound on soft tissue recovery in animal and human soft tissue recovery. The two main types of ultrasound therapy however consist of thermal ultrasound therapy and mechanical ultrasound therapy.
Thermal ultrasound therapy as the name itself suggests, makes use of heat as its main element within the therapy. The continuous transmission of sound waves would cause microscopic vibrations deep within tissue molecules, creating an increase in friction and heat. Metabolism of the soft tissues are increased at a cellular level as a result of the warming effect and in turn encourage healing.
Mechanical ultrasound therapy on the other hand uses pulses of sound wave to penetrate tissues. The warming effect is minimal however, the pulsating waves cause the contraction and expansion of the tiny gas bubbles situated within the tissue. As a result, inflammatory response, tissue swelling, and pain are all decreased.