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Therapeutic Ultrasound
at Midwest Sport and Spine

Man getting therapeutic ultrasound on legsMidwest Sport and Spine is excited to offer our patients therapeutic ultrasound. This modality has been used for sports injuries by therapists over the last 50 years.

How Ultrasound Works

Ultrasonic waves or sound waves of a high frequency that are not audible to the human ear are produced by means of mechanical vibration in the metal treatment head of the ultrasound machine. The treatment head is then moved over the surface of the skin in the region of the injury, transmitting the energy into the tissues.

When sound waves come into contact with air, it causes a dissipation of the waves. A special ultrasound gel is placed on the skin to ensure maximal contact between the treatment head and the surface of the skin and to provide a medium through with the sound waves can travel. Ultrasound can also be applied underwater, which is also a medium for ultrasound waves to travel through.

The effects of therapeutic ultrasound are still being disputed. To date, there is still very little evidence to explain how ultrasound causes a therapeutic effect in injured tissue. Nevertheless practitioners worldwide continue to use this treatment modality relying on personal experience rather than scientific evidence. Below are a number of the theories by which ultrasound is proposed to cause a therapeutic effect.

Thermal Effect

As the ultrasound waves pass from the treatment head into the skin, they cause the vibration of the surrounding tissues, particularly those that contain collagen. This increased vibration leads to the production of heat within the tissue. In most cases this cannot be felt by the patient themselves. This increase in temperature may cause an increase in the extensibility of structures such as ligaments, tendons, scar tissue and fibrous joint capsules. In addition, heating may also help to reduce pain and muscle spasm and promote the healing process.

Effects on the Inflammatory and Repair Processes

One of the greatest proposed benefits of ultrasound therapy is that it is thought to reduce the healing time of certain soft tissue injuries.

Ultrasound is thought to accelerate the normal resolution time of the inflammatory process by attracting more mast cells to the site of injury. This may cause an increase in blood flow, which can be beneficial in the sub-acute phase of tissue injury. As blood flow may be increased, it is not advised to use ultrasound immediately after injury.

Ultrasound may also stimulate the production of more collagen, which is the main protein component in soft tissue such as tendons and ligaments. Hence ultrasound may accelerate the proliferative phase of tissue healing. It is thought to improve the extensibility of mature collagen and so can have a positive effect on fibrous scar tissue, which may form after an injury.

Ultrasound is normally applied by the use of a small metal treatment head which emits the ultrasonic beam. This is moved continuously over the skin for approximately 5-15 minutes. Treatments may be repeated 1-2 times daily in more acute injuries and less frequently in chronic cases.

Ultrasound dosage can be varied either in the intensity or frequency of the ultrasound beam. Simply speaking, lower frequency application provides a greater depth of penetration and so is used in cases where the injured tissue is suspected to be deeply situated. Conversely, higher frequency doses are used for structures that are closer to the surface of skin.

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Learn whether you can benefit from therapeutic ultrasound Noblesville and our other services. Contact us now to book your free consultation!


Therapeutic Ultrasound in Noblesville IN | (317) 776-1061