When most people think about ultrasound, they picture a wand on the belly of a mom-to-be to check the development of a growing fetus. However, there is a different kind of ultrasound called a Therapeutic Ultrasound. This type of ultrasound is a treatment method that chiropractors and other healthcare practitioners use on the body’s soft tissues to reduce inflammation and pain and speed up the healing of injured muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Conditions That Ultrasound May Help
Many types of soft tissue injury may benefit from the use of therapeutic ultrasound, and indications for using it are revealed through your chiropractor’s comprehensive physical evaluation. According to an article in Rheumatology, many people acknowledge the effects of this treatment when the thermal component is used and prefer it over other therapies for musculoskeletal pain. As part of an overall treatment plan, therapeutic ultrasound may be recommended when specific conditions are indicated.
Of course, there are some situations in which this type of therapy may not be recommended – such as open wounds, pregnancy, or open fractures.
How This Therapy Works
Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to produce vibrations, which create heat that penetrates deep within the tissues. The heat generated helps relax musculature, increase blood flow, speed up healing, and reduce inflammation of the injured tissue. There are various settings on the ultrasound machine to control the depth of penetration or change the intensity given. Chiropractors are trained to know the different settings on the ultrasound machine that are most beneficial to various injury types.
How Ultrasound Therapy is Applied
Chiropractors will apply a small amount of ultrasound gel to the area of injury. The gel is used as lubrication to allow the ultrasound head to glide over the skin, and it optimizes penetration by reducing the static between the machine and the skin. Your chiropractor will place the round ultrasound head over the injured area and work it around in small, circular motions. You will likely not feel anything happening, although patients report a warming feeling in some instances.
Most people say they enjoy receiving ultrasound therapy due to its relaxing nature. What’s happening, though, is beneficial: an increase in blood flow, reduction in muscle spasms, and activation of the body’s inflammatory responses. After your treatment, your chiropractor may recommend stretching and exercises to perform at home to maximize the results.
Some people are surprised to know chiropractors use ultrasound therapy. Still, it makes sense when you realize doctors of chiropractic are specialists in treating injuries and conditions of the body’s musculoskeletal system.
Therapeutic ultrasound is often combined with manual chiropractic techniques to produce the maximum benefits. When there is a misalignment in your spine, the brain is unable to communicate properly with the rest of the body. Chiropractic care involves many safe, gentle, and noninvasive procedures to reduce interference to nerves, which results in improved mobility, and decreased pain.
Your chiropractor is an excellent resource for better health and wellbeing over your lifetime and can offer recommendations for nutrition, constructive exercise, stress management, and positive lifestyle choices.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), founded in 1922, is a private, nonprofit, chiropractic and health science-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas. The CUKC on-campus Chiropractic Health Center is open to the public and treats patients from Kansas City’s 15-county metro area. Our goal is to provide care and solutions for a better, more productive life for our patients.