What is ultrasound therapy?

Therapeutic ultrasound treatment is a type of heat therapy that attempts to use sound waves to relieve deep pain in soft tissue, including muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. Ultrasounds are traditionally associated with medical imagery applications, but physical therapists and chiropractors also utilize the technology to treat aches and pains. An ultrasound is a high-frequency sound wave that is undetectable to humans and is also considered by some as an effective way treat tissue injury.


Ultrasound technology has been a popular diagnostic tool for decades because ultrasound machines are safe, reliable and relatively portable. At low frequencies, an ultrasound can detect abnormal growths and tumors or check on the well-being of a child before birth.

A lesser-known utility of an ultrasound lies in its use as a therapeutic method. At much higher frequencies, an ultrasound can be used by a chiropractor or therapist to generate heat and vibration, improve blood flow, and facilitate the healing process of soft tissue deep within the body. For example, if a person is suffering from back pain as a result of a soft tissue injury near the lumbar (lower) spine, ultrasound therapy can be used to gently massage the injured tissue and accelerate the healing process.

As a treatment method, ultrasound therapy has also been used to:

  • Break up kidney stones
  • Remove blood clots
  • Treat asthma
  • Reduce arthritic pain
  • Treat ulcers
  • Relieve incontinence


Alternative chiropractic treatment, like ultrasound therapy, is an appealing choice because it can sometimes relieve aches and pains in the short-term. While ultrasound therapy won’t cure the underlying sources of back and neck pain, such as a degenerative spine condition, it may provide temporary relief. However, if your pain continues after several weeks of ultrasound therapy, it is a good idea to visit your doctor to learn about all of your treatment options. When conservative treatments have been exhausted and pain remains debilitating, surgery may be recommended. As you explore treatment options, it is important to be fully informed about the different surgical approaches available.

Patients considering spine surgery should contact the dedicated team at Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back procedures, offering our patients a shorter recovery time with less risk of complication.^

If you’d like to find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures, ask for you free MRI review* when you speak with us.