Therapeutic ultrasound treatment is a type of heat therapy that uses sound waves to alleviate deep pain in soft tissue, including muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. Ultrasounds are traditionally associated with obstetrics and other medical imagery applications, but physical therapists and chiropractors can 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 many to be 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 growths and tumors, check on the well-being of a fetus, and provide an unparalleled vantage point of the inner-workings of a living organism.
The lesser-known utility of an ultrasound lies in its therapeutic benefit. 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 soft tissue injury near the lumbar spine (lower back), ultrasound therapy can be used to gently massage the injured tissue and accelerate the healing process.
Over the years, ultrasound therapy has also been used to:
- Break up kidney stones
- Remove blood clots
- Treat asthma
- Reduce arthritic pain
- Treat ulcers
- Alleviate incontinence
- And more
Alternative chiropractic treatment, like ultrasound therapy, is an appealing choice because it can sometimes alleviate aches and pains in the short-term. While ultrasound therapy won’t cure the underlying sources of back and neck pain (like 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.