Therapeutic ultrasound is a therapy that uses a small wand emitting ultrasound waves directly into injured muscles and ligaments in the body. It is used predominately in soft tissue injuries such as ligament sprains, muscle strains, joint inflammation, plantar fasciitis, bursitis and many other conditions. Ultrasound works by increasing blood flow, decreasing swelling and inflammation, and by massaging effected muscle tendons and ligaments.
Ultrasound therapy has been known to increase tissue relaxation, stimulate local blood flow, and aid in scar tissue breakdown. Local blood flow can help reduce local swelling and chronic inflammation by delivering more nutrients to the infected area. According to some studies, it may even promote bone fracture healing.
While ultrasound therapy is not effective for all chronic pain, it may help reduce your pain if you have any of the following conditions:
- Myofascial pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Pain caused by scar tissue
- Phantom limb pain
- Sprains and strains
Dr. Papuga will apply gel to a transducer head or to the targeted surface area of your skin. This gel helps sound waves evenly reach your tissue, and it is hypoallergenic and anti-inflammatory. Dr. Papuga will then continually move the transducer head in small circles over and around the selected area for five to ten minutes.
During therapy, the waves will vibrate the area. You might notice a soothing, tingling sensation or a slight warmth in the skin. However, it’s not unusual to feel nothing at all during this treatment. If the area is especially sensitive, you could feel a slight discomfort. Ultrasound therapy should not be painful though. The FDA deems it safe as long as it’s performed by a licensed professional.