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.
Therapeutic ultrasound is used to help reduce pain, increase circulation and improve the mobility of soft tissues. Ultrasound can create the effect of deep heat in your muscles, tendon, ligaments and joints which increases blood flow to the area being treated. The blood brings nutrients and carries away waste, which in turn promotes healing and decreases swelling. Ultrasound is therefore used to help accelerate tissue repair and is commonly used for conditions such as tendinitis, bursitis, ligament sprains, muscle strains and wound healing.
You shouldn’t feel much happening during an ultrasound treatment, except perhaps a small warmth or tingling feeling around the treatment area. During the treatment the head of the ultrasound probe is kept in constant motion and therefore you shouldn’t feel any discomfort. After treatment you shouldn’t feel any adverse effects.
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At Ruth Mills Therapies a full history will be taken to allow a clear understanding of your current health and previous conditions. A suitable treatment plan will then be created to help get you back to full functional fitness.
Treatments may include deep tissue massage, therapeutic ultrasound, joint mobilisations and kinesiology taping. You may also be prescribed exercises to undertake at home to promote healing and speed up your recovery.
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