ultrasound therapy

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ultrasound therapy

Alternative medicine
The therapeutic use of ultrasonic waves which, when applied locally to joints, are said to be useful for vague arthritic complaints, including stiffness, arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis and chronic pain. The beneficial effect of ultrasound therapy is attributed to local heat, massage of the loco-regional tissues, and to an anti-inflammatory effect; it may also be used in conjunction with acupuncture.

ultrasound therapy

Mainstream medicine The application of ultrasound waves to soft tissue to heat and relax injured tissue and disperse edema

ultrasound therapy

; UST application of ultrafrequency sound waves (1-3MHz) to tissues in order to promote healing and reduce pain and swelling
  • contraindications to UST concomitant infection, peripheral vascular disease, fracture, tumour, tuberculosis, recent radiotherapy; should not be applied over bone epiphysis in a child, or an area with/history of deep-vein thrombosis

  • depth of penetration of ultrasound beam inversely proportional to frequency (e.g. 3MHz ultrasound beam penetrates 4mm from skin surface; 1MHz ultrasound beam penetrates to 11mm from skin surface)

  • effects of application of UST local vibration and 'micromassage effect', with variable responses (rarefaction and scatter) depending on tissue type; promotes local tissue vasodilatation, increased local tissue metabolism and resultant reduction of pain and swelling; ultrasound beam may cause heating at tissue interfaces

  • forms of UST beam may be pulsed or continuous (pulsed beam has lower heating effect, and causes less tissue cavitation)

  • indications for UST soft-tissue injury, inflammatory conditions, hallux limitus and arthritis

  • machine settings for UST Table 1

  • method of use ultrasound probe (covered with water gel) is scanned across skin overlying the problematic area; alternatively, body part to be treated is immersed in warm water and the ultrasound probe is moved through the water approximately 5mm from the skin surface overlying the problem area; ultrasound probe head should be kept moving at all times to prevent tissue cavitation and pain

  • thermal effects of ultrasound ultrasound heat generation relates to energy-absorbency capacity of tissues, i.e. the greater the power of the beam, the greater the likelihood of tissue absorption of the beam energy and the greater the local heating effect; periosteum, superficial cortical bone, joint menisci, muscle, tendon sheaths and major nerve roots readily absorb ultrasound and become heated

Table 1: Indicative treatment dosages of therapeutic ultrasound
Machine settingIndications
IntensityLow intensity (0.25-0.5 W/cm2): recent and acute conditions
Medium intensity (0.8-1 W/cm2): chronic conditions
FrequencyHigh frequency (3 MHz): superficial tissue problems
Low frequency (1 MHz): deep-tissue problems
TimeInitial treatment: 3 minutes
Subsequent treatments: incremental 1-minute increases up to a maximum of 10 minutes
Beam modalityPulsed beam: acute conditions (non-thermal effect)
Continuous beam: chronic conditions (thermal effect)
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He is interested in research that shows exactly how and when ultrasound therapy works.
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I received ultrasound therapy for the Achilles for two months, and iced it every night, but the pain persisted.
Under the 2-year demonstration project, newly covered services include extraspinal manipulation, x-rays, EMG and nerve conduction studies, clinical lab tests, electrotherapy, ultrasound therapy, and evaluation and management services.

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