Ultrasound (US) is known to be a form of mechanical energy and not electrical. For that reason, it is not really electrotherapy at all, but it falls under the Electro Physical Agents grouping. Sound energy is known as mechanical vibration at increasing frequencies. The normal human sound range is from 16 Hz to 15-20,000 Hz, and beyond this upper limit, the mechanical vibration is known as ultrasound. The frequencies that are used in the therapy are typically between 1.0 and 3.0 (MHz= 1 million cycles per second).
It is a known fact that sound waves are longitudinal waves that consist of compression and refraction. As particles of material are exposed to a sound wave, they will oscillate about a fixed point rather than moving with the wave itself. When the energy present in the sound wave is made to pass through the material, it will make or cause oscillation of the particles of that material. It is evident that increase in the molecular vibration in the tissues will result in the generation of heat. Ultrasound can be utilized to produce thermal changes in the tissues. Besides thermal changes, the vibration of the tissues seems to have effects that are usually thought to be nonthermal in nature. However, with other modalities (Pulsed short waves) there should be a thermal component but small. On passing the ultrasound wave through the tissue, the energy levels that are within the wave will diminish because energy is transferred to the tissue. Different versions of the machines are in the market that ultrasound therapy machines manufacturers make for the benefit of people.
What is meant by ultrasound therapy?
In the medical science ultrasound therapy is an electro therapy that has been utilized in physiotherapy practices for years now. It is chiefly employed for its nonthermal effect in which high-frequency sound waves cause vibrations and movements of cellular fluids. Ultrasound therapy as is proposed benefit improves the healing rate of certain soft tissues. The technique is thought to enhance blood flow to an affected area so that the resolution time of the inflammatory process accelerates and stimulate the collagen production during tissue healing. This leads to faster healing of wounds and also offers faster relief from pain.
Some common injuries treated with ultrasound are tendonitis, bursitis, osteoarthritis and muscle strain and tears, ligament and tendon injuries. In such cases, ultrasound therapy machine is used for relief.
Method of doing ultrasound
The body part to be treated in smeared with a small amount of gel. A sound head or transducer that is attached to the ultrasound machine is placed onto the gel and is moved in small circles by an expert. The physiotherapists set the machine so as to deliver appropriate depth and intensity of sound wave needed.
Is it safe?
Ultrasound therapy is a safe and harmless method of treatment technique. On the other hand, there are situations when ultrasound therapy is not suitable. Only a qualified therapist can advise to use the technique with these tools.