Therapeutic Ultrasound


Therapeutic Ultra Sound for treatment.  When I feel well, I get careless with my walking, my legs don’t respond quickly enough, I stumble and trip.  The other day, that’s exactly what happened.  I went to see Dr. Christiansen and he did an adjustment then the therapeutic ultra sound.     


 I learned on Wikipedia that ultrasound is a method of stimulating the tissue beneath the skin’s surface using very high frequency sound waves, between 800,000 Hz and 2,000,000 Hz, which cannot be heard by humans


The first large scale application of ultrasound was around World War II. Sonar systems were being built and used to navigate submarines. It was realized that the high intensity ultrasound waves that they were using were heating and killing fish.[3] This led to research in tissue heating and healing effects. Since the 1940s, ultrasound has been used by physical and occupational therapists for therapeutic effects.


I learned from Wikipedia that there are three primary benefits to ultrasound.

  •         Speeding up of the healing process from the increase in blood flow in the treated area.
  •         Decreasing pain from the reduction of swelling and edema.
  •         Gentle massaging muscles, tendons, and/ or ligaments in the treated area because no straiThn is added and any scar tissue is softened.


These benefits are achieved by thermal and non thermal effects.


Personally, this is enough information to satisfying my curiosity, but if you’d like to know more, Wikipedia has more information right here.


I’m glad to report that the chiropractic adjustment and one session of therapeutic ultrasound has whipped me back into shape.  Now it’s my job to slow down and let my legs keep up with my brain, no more stumbling and tripping!

Ultrasound is applied using a transducer or applicator that is in direct contact with the patient’s skin. Gel is used on all surfaces of the head to reduce friction and assist transmission of the ultrasonic waves. Therapeutic ultrasound in physical therapy is alternating compression and rarefaction of sound waves with a frequency of >20,000 cycles/second. Therapeutic ultrasound frequency used is 0.7 to 3.3 MHz. Maximum energy absorption in soft tissue occurs from 2 to 5 cm. Intensity decreases as the waves penetrate deeper. They are absorbed primarily by connective tissue: ligaments, tendons, and fascia (and also by scar tissue).[4]

Conditions which ultrasound may be used for treatment include the follow examples: Ligament Sprains, Muscle Strains, Tendonitis, Joint Inflammation, Plantar fasciitis, Metatarsalgia, Facet Irritation, Impingement syndrome, Bursitis,Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, and Scar Tissue Adhesion.

Thermal effects are due to the absorption of the sound waves. Non thermal effects are from cavitation, microstreaming and acoustic streaming.[1]

Cavitational effects result from the vibration of the tissue causing microscopic bubbles to form, which transmit the vibrations in a way that directly stimulates cell membranes. This physical stimulation appears to enhance the cell-repair effects of the inflammatory response.[5] Effectiveness of therapeutic ultrasound for pain, musculoskeletal injuries, and soft tissue lesions remains questionable.[6] Study has proven that Ultrasound helps in enhancing the metabolic activities of cells. Thus, ultrasound treatment helps in tissue repair, especially in soft tissue injuries (Ravi Patel, B.P.T)[Ref: Kerry G Baker, Valma J Robertson and Francis A Duck, Journal of Physical therapy.2001 July;Vol. 81(7):1851-1858].