This form of therapy helps to build new tissue and ensure the proper alignment of the tissue fibres so that full strength and flexibility can be restored. In the case of a chronic illness, ultrasound can slow the development and help to manage symptoms.
Targeted ultrasound can be applied directly to the site of the condition or using the immersion technique in water if preferred. Using the mobile head or diffuser, the therapy can be applied from different angles as needed and the application can be tailored specifically to the patient’s needs.
Local blood flow and swelling initiate the healing process when a tissue such as muscle or ligament is damaged. New tissue (known as ‘scar tissue’) can then be formed and laid down. The fibres that make up the scar tissue are often laid down in an unorganised fashion as the tissue is generated. If the tissue fibres are unorganised or not correctly aligned, they are not as strong or as flexible as the original tissue. If this scar tissue remains unorganised, it can sometimes result in tight and/or weak muscles or ligaments — even once healing is complete.
When tissue is exposed to ultrasound, the sound waves cause a micro-vibration within the tissue. This vibration creates heat energy that increases blood flow to the area, causing an increase in oxygen and chemicals that are essential for healing the damaged tissue. As well as increasing blood flow, ultrasound speeds up the transport of chemicals from the blood into the damaged tissue to promote healing. This process helps to build new tissue and ensure the proper alignment of the tissue fibres so that full strength and flexibility are restored.
Ultrasound therapy can:
- Increase the ‘stretchiness’ of muscles and tendons that may be tight.
- Reduce muscle spasms.
- Provide an analgesic effect.
- Improve blood flow and restore normal cell activity to produce an anti-swelling effect.