Many of us have heard about how ultrasound is used as a diagnostic test to explore disease process and injury in the human body. Diagnostic ultrasound, for example, can be used to look at joints, nerve roots, tendons, ligaments and muscles and pinpoint signs of inflammation and scar tissue. In some cases, ultrasound helps the chiropractor identify the proper course of treatment.
But ultrasound has another exciting application in the form of deep heat therapy.
Therapeutic ultrasound uses heated sound waves and applies the energy to soft tissues and joints. The fast-moving waves essentially massage soft tissues effortlessly and, in most cases, painlessly.
- Alleviates muscle spasms
- Reduces inflammation and swelling
- Improves range of motion
- Helps increase blood flow
- Lowers pain and stiffness
Therapeutic ultrasound is typically applied using a small, hand-held wand.
Therapeutic ultrasound is often used as one method to treat lower back pain. It is not used to treat acute inflammatory conditions or in patients who have had a laminectomy.