Ultrasound therapy involves a specific therapeutic ultrasound unit which passes mechanical vibrations into the tissues through a layer of gel. The vibrations are at a frequency above what can be heard by humans and often you not feel anything during the treatment.
Ultrasound is used widely across the clinical worlds, specifically to rehabilitation. It is a common treatment method for acute injuries in sports injury clinics and within professional sports clubs, including premiership football and rugby.
The evidence shows that during the inflammatory phase, ultrasound stimulates inflammatory cells, optimising this process and has a pro-inflammatory effect. It is important to understand that inflammation is an important and essential part of the healing process, and rather than having an anti-inflammatory effect, ultrasound enhances the process and acts as an inflammatory optimiser.
During the scar production phase of the repair process ultrasound also aids with stimulating cells which produce the scar. As with the inflammatory phase the ultrasound enhances the scar production, maximising its efficiency, without affecting the quality of the scar production. Research also shows that ultrasound increases protein synthesis, again, enhancing tissue repair.Ultrasound Settings:
Wavelength - Normally 1 or 3 MHz. The different settings are used depending on which part of the body the ultrasound is being used on. The lower the frequency, the deeper the tissue dept the ultrasounds will reach. E.g. 1MHz used for a deep muscle tear in the thigh muscles, 3MHz used for a ligament tear close to the surface of the skin.
Before using ultrasound it is important to have an assessment from a physiotherapist, this will then determine whether ultrasound is an appropriate treatment method for your injury.Can ultrasound help with my sprained ankle?
Ultrasound can be extremely effective in the very early stages of the injury, aiding the inflammatory process and encouraging new tissue to be laid down. The ligaments of the ankle are dense in collagen so they will be affected by ultrasound therapy. As new collagen is formed using ultrasound can help optimise the strength of the new tissue that is produced.Can ultrasound help with my tennis elbow?
In the early stages of the tennis elbow ultrasound can be extremely effective as it can help speed up the inflammatory process and encourage new tissue to be laid down. Tennis elbow often comprises many components and as such ultrasound will only be effective as part of a comprehensive Physiotherapy treatment programme.
If you would like to discuss your problem before booking an appointment please give our physiotherapy team a call, we will do our best to help.