Ultrasound therapy is electrotherapy which has been used in physiotherapy practices for many years. It is mainly used for its non-thermal effect where high-frequency sound waves cause vibrations and movement of cellular fluids. Proposed benefits of ultrasound therapy include improving the healing rate of certain soft tissues.
- Increase blood flow to an area to accelerate the resolution time of the inflammatory process
- Stimulate the production of collagen (the main protein in tendons and ligaments) during tissue healing
A small amount of gel will be applied to the body part to be treated. A transducer (sound head) which is attached to the ultrasound machine will be placed onto the gel and moved in small circles by the physiotherapist. The physiotherapist will set the machine to deliver the appropriate depth and intensity of the sound wave required.
You will most likely not feel anything happening throughout the ultrasound treatment. If you do experience discomfort or pain, let your physiotherapist know immediately.
Ultrasound therapy is a safe and innocuous treatment technique. However, there are situations when ultrasound therapy is not appropriate. Your qualified physiotherapist will ensure that it is an appropriate technique for you and discuss it with you. Certain examples where it would not be used are: over body parts with cancer, in pregnant women and children, metal implant and screws.