Typically ultrasound is associated with pregnancy. It is a common diagnostic method used to see inside the body, checking on a growing fetus or detecting blood clots. However, ultrasound is actually very versatile. In addition to diagnostic ultrasound, there are also therapeutic applications used by physical therapists and chiropractors.
Let’s learn about other ways ultrasound works and why it is effective.
HOW DOES ULTRASOUND WORK?
The head of an ultrasound machine contains a vibrating crystal that creates sound waves. First, therapists apply a small amount of gel to an injured body part. Then they move the ultrasound head in a small circular motion over the affected area. Sound waves penetrate the tissue and cause the cells to vibrate, creating friction.
WHY IS ULTRASOUND EFFECTIVE?
The friction created by sound waves is beneficial in two ways. It provides deep heating to the tissue. Tight muscles, ligaments, and tendons are warmed up. Ultrasound can penetrate tissue up to two inches deep. The sound waves create movement within the tissue. This increases circulation, which helps to relieve inflammation.
Physical therapists and chiropractors often combine ultrasound with topical analgesics and medications. This method is called phonophoresis.
WHAT IS PHONOPHORESIS?
“Phono” means sound, as in the sound waves from the ultrasound machine. “Phoresis” means to transmit. Put simply, phonophoresis uses sound waves to transmit topical healing agents into injured tissue. Therapists apply a layer of gel, infused with medication, over the injured body part. Then the therapist follows the same process as regular ultrasound therapy.
WHY IS PHONOPHORESIS EFFECTIVE?
The sound waves drive the gel on the skin deep down into the tissue. Heat created by the sound waves dilates capillary blood vessels, which helps to draw the medicine into the injured area. This type of therapy is normally painless, as opposed to cortisone shots or other techniques commonly used to treat inflammation.
Phonophoresis is particularly effective in the treatment of inflammatory injuries, such as arthritis, bursitis, and tendonitis.
Doctor Hoy's® Pain Relief Gel can be applied during phonophoresis. The powerful healing ingredients in our gel compliment the therapeutic benefits of the phonophoresis method. Request that your practitioner use Doctor Hoy's Pain Relief Gel during ultrasound and phonophoresis therapy! For increased pain relief, also apply a layer of Arnica Boost before phonophoresis treatment.