Ultrasound is a method of heating and stimulating muscle, tendons, ligaments and cartilage 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. It is derived from Sonar technology used by submarines. It is applied by using an applicator that is in direct contact with the patient’s skin. It can be adjusted to increase or decrease the frequency in order to penetrate even the deepest of muscles. As the intensity increases so does the heating effect on the connective tissue. Connective tissue is ligament, muscle, tendon, fascia, cartilage and even scar tissue.
We commonly use the ultrasound in conjunction with other effective treatments such as myofascial release, Kinesiotaping or Rocktaping, electrical stimulation, joint manipulation and stretching and strengthening exercises. Conditions that we have found ultrasound therapy to be effective include:
There are four primary uses and benefits to ultrasound:
When used as a solo healing instrument ultrasound may not be effective. The research on ultrasound is mixed for this reason. In research studies they separate groups and provide only one intervention. In our clinic we combine ultrasound with other synergistic modalities that work together to accelerate the healing response. In order for the ultrasound to be effective the proper frequency and intensity must be used to heat and stimulate the affected area. This is another reason why some people have reported ultrasound to have been ineffective in their case.
If you have not tried therapeutic ultrasound to heat and increase blood flow in combination with myofascial release to reduce fascial restrictions and break up scar tissue followed by supportive taping of the affected muscles and joints you should consider it as a potential solution for your specific problem. It is also important to keep in mind that an accurate diagnosis is necessary in order to deliver the ultrasound to the proper region with the appropriate frequency and intensity or else it would be largely ineffective.