Ultrasound has been used as a treatment modality for Sports Injuries by therapists for over 50 years.
How does Ultrasound work?
Ultrasonic or sound waves of a high frequency of 1 to 3 million cycles per second are not audible to the human ear. They are produced by the means of vibration of a quartz crystal having an electrical signal passed through it within the metal head of the Ultrasound machine. The treatment head is then moved over the surface of the skin in the region of the injury, transmitting energy into the tissues.
When sound waves come into contact with the air it causes the waves to dissipate, and so a special Ultrasound Gel is used to increase conductivity of the sound waves into the body of the tissues being targeted.
Effects on the Inflammatory and Repair Process
One of the greatest benefits of Ultrasound Therapy is that it is thought to reduce the healing time in 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 the injury (mast cells are a type of white blood cell intimately involved with wound healing). This may cause an increase in blood flow which can be beneficial in the sub-acute phase (sub-acute phase is from 48 hours after injury up to 7-10 days).
Application of Ultrasound
Ultrasound is applied using a small metal treatment head which emits the ultrasonic beam. The treatment head moves continuously over the skin for approximately 3-5 minutes. Treatments may be repeated daily in more acute injuries and less frequently in chronic cases.
I find Ultrasound Therapy beneficial in the sub-acute phase of certain injuries including lateral and medial ankle sprains, Achilles tendinitis, knee ligament sprains including MCL and ACL as well as AC joint sprains. Ultrasound Therapy is also beneficial in the sub-acute healing phase of muscle strains, most commonly hamstrings.
About the only chronic condition I use Ultrasound Therapy for is Achilles tendonopathy, along with other treatment modalities including soft tissue manipulation, Kinesiology taping and exercises.
For more long standing injuries of a chronic nature where fibrous scar tissue in the form of mature collagen is present, I find Sports Massage is the best method as it gets much better results.
Ultrasound Therapy is included in the price of a half an hour or one hour appointment. If you feel Ultrasound Therapy would benefit you, or have any questions relating to this subject, or want to discuss a treatment plan and price for Ultrasound only appointments please contact me.