One of the forms of physical therapy is ultrasound therapy. The advantage that ultrasound has over other types of physical therapy is that it penetrates the tissue on a deeper level and is absorbed the most in the ligaments and tendons, structures with large amounts of collagen. For therapeutic purposes, ultrasound with a frequency of 1 MHz to 3 MHz is applied.
Biological effect of the ultrasound is based on its mechanical, heating and chemical effect. Ultrasound leads to coagulation and dilution of tissue and is applied as a form of micro massage. The effect of the heat is manifested by a moderate increase of local temperature of the tissue that is being treated and visible enlargement of blood vessels. Chemical effect is manifested by an increase of oxidation processes in the tissues and speeding up their metabolism.
Ultrasound devices have the possibility of emitting constant an impulse ultrasound. Impulse ultrasound does not have a thermic effect and he is better suited for acute pain conditions, fresh injuries and everywhere where avoiding the thermic effect is needed. Additionally, impulse ultrasound decreases increased muscle tone. Ultrasound is applied as a sonophoresis, or applying the medicine via ultrasound.
Ultrasound is most commonly used to treat muscle tendons and ligaments injuries. It is successfully applied for removing scars, as well as for:
- Pain in the lumbar and cervical spine
- Joint pain and injury
- After posttraumatic states
- Dupuytren contracture
Ultrasound therapy can’t be used with patients suffering from malignant tumors, hemorrhaging or proneness to hemorrhaging, infections, heart conditions and implemented heart pacemakers. It is not applied to people younger than 16 years old.
Preparation includes an exam and determining the type and duration of the therapy. Every determined protocol is individual, depending on the problem and the needs of the client.
An oil with a plant extract (most often rosemary, camphor or pine needles) is used for for the therapeutic ultrasound contact. This has a relaxing effect. The ultrasound is not perceived by the patient during the procedure. The only thing that the patient feels is a mechanical pressure under the weight of the projector. After a few treatments the condition of the patient is significantly improved. The treatment is usually combined with magnet therapy or electro therapy.