PHYSICAL THERAPY MODALITIES AND DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT: ULTRASOUND
- Posted on: May 26 2017
The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “ultrasound” is most likely having to do with pregnancy. Believe it or not, ultrasound is actually a modality that can be used in your physical therapy treatment! Let’s take a closer look at how it is used and how it can help.
HOW DOES ULTRASOUND WORK?
Ultrasound is applied using a round-headed probe that is placed directly on your skin. Ultrasound gel is used a medium between the skin and probe to help reduce friction and assist in the diffusion of the ultrasonic waves. These waves are created by continuous vibration of crystals within the head of the probe that it used. The ultrasonic waves, which are sound waves, pass through the skin and reach the muscle and cause a vibration at this level. This in turn can cause a deep heating in the area of application which is thought to beneficial.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ULTRASOUND?
- Heating deep tissue such as muscle
- Increase tissue relaxation and blood flow
ARE THERE OTHER USES FOR ULTRASOUND?
Believe it or not, you can actually use ultrasound to achieve other techniques such as phonophoresis. Phonophoresis is a non-invasive way to administer medication to the body rather than receive an injection. Cortisone is a common medication used with phonophoresis to help reduce inflammation. The sound waves created by the vibrating crystals help push the medication through the skin to help reach its desired tissue.
Ultrasound is a technique that is less frequently used in the physical therapy setting. Other modalities are used to generate the same desired effects, especially as the research continues to grow and be conducted. However, it has been supported to help heat deeper tissues such as muscle as well as promote tissue relaxation. You will most likely not experience ultrasound but if you do, you will now better understand how it works and its desired effects!
Be sure to be on the lookout for the next installment of this series regarding Kinesiotaping and other taping techniques!
Posted in: Physical Therapy