Pain makes your life an uphill battle. While there are many ways to curb pain temporarily, including the use of NSAIDs, if you are averse to steroids or need a rather safe option to relieve muscle tension and pain, therapeutic ultrasound may be the way for you.
Ultrasound therapy, also known as therapeutic ultrasound, is a medical treatment that does not require any incision and utilizes high-frequency sound waves that go deep into the body's tissues. The sound waves generate vibrations that can have different therapeutic effects, depending on the specific settings and technique used.
It is a non-invasive technology that can help relieve pain. Unlike a traditional ultrasound, it doesn't involve looking inside your body. Instead, it delivers a targeted massage to the source of your pain, helping to alleviate discomfort. Think of it as a gentle internal heat source, stimulating tissues and promoting blood flow. This influx of fresh blood washes away pain-causing inflammation, relaxes muscle tension, and encourages healing – a one-two punch against discomfort.
Therapeutic Ultrasound has many benefits. If you’re experiencing chronic pain and wish to explore this non-invasive pain relief therapy, here are 5 benefits of therapeutic ultrasound for pain management.
It can help reduce muscle spasms and tightness, which are often the root cause of pain. In fact, it can even prepare your muscles for additional treatments, making them more effective in reducing your pain.
According to recent studies, therapeutic ultrasound has various applications, one of which is treating pain. In a clinical trial conducted in 2020, it was found that continuous, low-intensity ultrasound significantly reduced pain in individuals with myofascial pain in the shoulder and neck. Myofascial pain is a type of localized musculoskeletal pain.
The sound waves produce vibrations that cause small movements in the collagen fibers, which are the primary components of connective tissue. This gentle "massage" can assist in re-aligning disordered collagen fibers, making them stronger and more parallel, which enhances the structure and function of the tissue. Better alignment of collagen results in improved support and stability, ultimately reducing pain and improving flexibility. The stimulated cell growth and collagen production can be beneficial for healing soft tissue injuries, like muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Improved tissue biomechanics help the body move in the best possible way so that you feel less pain and discomfort. Therapeutic ultrasound makes your muscles and tissues work more efficiently. The sound waves create tiny changes in the tissues, which help to enhance blood flow and reduce inflammation. By doing this, your body's natural healing processes are stimulated, which leads to less pain and better movement. It's important to note that the sound waves used are safe and won't harm your body. Overall, improving biomechanics can help you move more easily and feel better in your body.
Ultrasound therapy can help with inflammation in several ways, depending on the specific settings and technique used. The sound waves create micro-vibrations within the tissues. These vibrations can help break down inflammatory molecules and decrease the activity of inflammatory cells. They can also help loosen scar tissue and improve blood flow, both of which can contribute to reduced inflammation.
Similarly, low-intensity continuous ultrasound generates heat within the tissues. This heat can have a mild anti-inflammatory effect by promoting blood flow and reducing swelling. However, excessive heat can worsen inflammation, so careful monitoring and appropriate settings are crucial.
Therapeutic ultrasound is a method that improves blood flow in the body's tissues through two mechanisms: mechanical and thermal effects. In the case of the mechanical effect, think of the sound waves as tiny vibrating hands that gently massage the tissues. This micro-vibration causes blood vessels to dilate, allowing more space for blood to flow through. This improved blood flow brings fresh oxygen and nutrients to the affected area and promotes tissue healing and pain relief.
The thermal effect is the second mechanism that enhances blood flow. Low-intensity ultrasound generates heat within the tissues, which can improve blood flow even further. The warmth dilates blood vessels and increases blood vessel permeability, which allows more blood and oxygen to reach the injured area. However, it's important to keep the heat generated mild to avoid damaging the tissues.
Overall, therapeutic ultrasound therapy is a safe and effective treatment option that can help you find sweet relief from pain and discomfort in your muscles and tissues.
Ultrasound therapy can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including:
There are two specific types of ultrasound therapies, namely - Continuous ultrasound and Pulsed ultrasound. Continuous ultrasound is the most common type, where the sound waves are emitted continuously. Similarly, the pulsed type delivers the sound waves in short bursts, potentially reducing the risk of heat buildup.
To perform therapeutic ultrasound -
Although ultrasound therapy is generally safe, it is not suitable for everyone. It should not be applied to pregnant women, individuals with specific medical conditions, or over regions with metal implants. A consultation with a healthcare professional is crucial before undergoing treatment.
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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...
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