How is Ultrasound Used in Physical Therapy?

Ultrasound has long been used as a diagnostic and monitoring tool for a range of medical conditions, including pregnancy. However, ultrasound therapy is one of the newest modalities being used in chiropractic care. This is because ultrasound has been shown to have a range of positive, therapeutic effects on the body when applied in the correct way.

This makes it an ideal treatment for people suffering from a range of physical injuries and conditions, ranging from arthritis to multiple sclerosis. It is also particularly popular among athletes as a non-invasive, drug-free treatment for variety of sports-related injuries.


What is ultrasound therapy?


Ultrasound therapy refers to how this technology can be used to heal the body, rather than simply diagnose problems. Ultrasound waves are sound waves, and work by causing micro-vibrations within the tissue that create heat and increase blood flow to the area. This increased blood flow means that more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the targeted area, accelerating the rate at which the damaged tissues heal.



Ultrasound therapy is performed in the same way for healing as it is for diagnosis. A special conductive gel will be placed on the area being targeted, and then the small, handheld probe will be passed over it, emitting the sound waves that will pass harmlessly through the skin and into the body. It is completely non-invasive, painless and has no recovery period. Each session usually takes less than 30 minutes, and the number of sessions that you will need will depend on the severity of your issue and how quickly your body responds to the treatment.  



Conditions that ultrasound therapy can help with


Ultrasound therapy has a wide range of different applications in physical therapy, and can be used to treat the following conditions:



Carpal tunnel: a condition characterized by pain, numbness and tingling in the fingers, hands, wrists and lower arms, carpal tunnel is caused by pressure placed onto the main nerve that runs from the arms into the hands.



Bursitis: a painful condition that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles near the joints. Bursitis can lead to infection and even require surgery if it isn’t treated successfully.



Strains and sprains: these are very common injuries that can occur following trips, slips and falls, or due to repetitive strain on a joint such as during certain sports or work activities.



Osteoarthritis: another very common condition characterized by the degeneration of the joints that occurs when the protective cartilage covering the ends of the bones wears down with advancing age.



Chronic pain conditions: conditions that cause the patient to experience chronic discomfort/pain, including lower back pain, fibromyalgia, migraines, neuropathy and multiple sclerosis.



Pain caused by scar tissue: when excessive scar tissue forms, it can cause the tissue in the area to tighten, limiting your mobility and causing pain and inflammation.




If you’d like to find out more about how ultrasound is used in physical therapy, call Active Family Chiropractic & Acupuncture at our offices in Grand Island (308) 384-4955, Hastings (402) 249-5500, Kearney (308) 222-4400, or Columbus (402) 265-6800, Nebraska.

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