Therapeutic ultrasound works by emitting mechanical vibrations through the soft tissues, and evidence has shown that these waves can interact with certain cells in the body, influencing their activity and leading to the acceleration of repair. Therapeutic ultrasound is not to be confused with diagnostic ultrasound, which is an ultrasound that is used to see the inside of the body, such as checking on a fetus during pregnancy.
Gel is used between the ultrasound head and the skin to reduce friction and help the ultrasound waves enter the body. A treatment normally lasts between 3 – 5 minutes depending on the size of the area being treated. Various settings can be changed on the ultrasound machine to determine how deep the ultrasound waves will penetrate and also the intensity of the waves. Different settings are used in the various stages of healing.
Therapeutic ultrasound provides a useful addition to other treatments and is rarely used in isolation. If you have any metal implants below the area being treated then ultrasound is not possible.