WHAT IS ULTRASOUND THERAPY OR THERAPEUTIC ULTRASOUND? WHAT ARE ITS TYPES?
In order to cure a variety of injuries, this therapy uses ultrasound waves applied at frequencies exceeding human hearing. In order to decrease edoema and inflammation in a particular location, ultrasound therapy is applied to assist the blood flow in that area. Additionally, it aids in the repair of bone fractures.
It is typically divided into two types:
- Thermal Ultrasound Therapy
In this form of treatment, sound waves are continuously transmitted, causing minute vibrations in the molecules of deep tissue. The molecules’ friction and temperature are increased by these vibrations. This heating impact causes an increase in tissue cell metabolism, which promotes the healing of soft tissues.
The local temperature increase may be employed to hasten the healing process. The most common conditions it is used for include myofascial pain, muscular sprains or strains, scars, and adhesions.
- Mechanical Ultrasound therapy
In order to penetrate tissue, this therapy uses a single sound wave vibration. It really causes the tiny gas bubbles in the soft tissues to expand and contract, which helps to relieve inflammation, tissue swelling, and discomfort in the affected area.
When you experience pain and swelling, like with carpal tunnel syndrome, it is typically used.
There are two ways to employ ultrasound: constantly, in which case the treatment head continuously produces ultrasonic energy, or pulsed, in which case the intervals of ultrasound are interrupted by times of stillness.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT PARAMETERS FOR THERAPEUTIC OR ULTRASOUND THERAPY?
Intensity : When employing ultrasound, the watt serves as the unit of intensity.
Space-averaging intensity, which provides the average intensity over a certain area,e.g. watts per square centimeter (Wcm-2).
When ultrasound is utilised in a pulsed manner, it is possible to use time-averaged/space-averaged intensity, which provides the average intensity throughout the course of the entire treatment.(per second for a specified area Wcm-2).
Pulsed mark: space ratio
The ratio of time on to time off should be indicated when ultrasound is used in pulsed mode. This is the mark-to-space ratio. The mark is the amount of time an ultrasound is on, and the space is the total amount of silence.
Reflection of ultrasound
Since air does not transmit ultrasonic waves, extreme care is required during ultrasonic treatment to keep as little space as possible between the treatment head and the patient in order to reduce reflection. At whatever interface the ultrasound beam comes into contact with, there will nonetheless always be some reflection. As a result, acoustic impedance develops. The transmission is high when the acoustic impedance is low, and vice versa.
Transmission of ultrasound
The ultrasonic beam may be refracted if it travels via an interface between two media and is transmitted. When possible, treatment should be administered with the bulk of waves moving along the normal since refraction does not occur when the incident waves follow the normal.
Attenuation of ultrasound
Once the ultrasonic beam has left the treatment head, it gradually loses intensity, a process known as attenuation. Attenuation is primarily caused by two factors.
The tissues then take up the ultrasound and convert it to heat. The thermal effect of ultrasonography is represented by this.
This happens when a usually cylindrical ultrasonic beam is diverted from its intended course by reflection at surfaces, air bubbles, or other objects in the way. The combined result of these two is that as the ultrasonic beam travels deeper, its intensity decreases. As a result, the frequency and strength of ultrasound used for treatment of deep structures must be carefully considered.
The division of the ultrasonic beam into a near-field and a far-field determines the intensity and depth of penetration of the beam. Because wavefronts from various sources must travel over varying distances, there is interference between neigh bouring fronts, which leads to the formation of the near- and far-fields. When interference occurs, it can be beneficial sometimes and harmful other times. The close field’s size is important since it is more intense than the far field and could have a more significant impact on the treatment of specific disorders. When treating tissues at a depth more than 6.5 cm, it may be necessary to take into account the ultrasound’s frequency and transducer’s radius.
Since air cannot transmit ultrasonic waves, a couplant that can be forced between the treatment head (transducer) and the patient’s skin must be used. Only a portion of the original intensity is conveyed to the patient by each couplant, which prevents perfect transmission. Air causes standing waves that could harm the crystal by reflecting the ultrasonic beam back into the treatment head. Never leave the treatment head on when it is not in touch with a transmission media.
HOW DOES THERAPEUTIC ULTRASOUND OR ULTRASOUND THERAPY WORK?
In essence, metallic probes are used in ultrasound therapy. The technique starts with the administration of gel, either directly to the skin or to the probe’s head. In essence, this gel aids in the uniform penetration of sound waves into the skin. This probe is then constantly dragged over the chosen area for more than 5 to 10 minutes after the gel has been administered. Depending on the desired outcome, an ultrasound’s intensity or strength is changed. During this therapy, some patients may experience a tiny pulsating, while others may sense a slight warmth in the targeted location.
Due to its versatility and ability to treat a wide range of conditions, ultrasound therapy has many advantages. But this is what it’s typically employed for:
- In order to reduce discomfort, the muscles are heated and relaxed.
- Increasing blood and lymph flow will speed up the mending of ligaments, joints, and muscles as well as the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body.
- any existing scar tissue softerening
- Fracture repair uses a low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS).
- Osteoarthritis of the knee treatment (OA)
WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS TRAINED BY THERAPEUTIC ULTRASOUND OR ULTRASOUND THERAPY?
The most frequent ailments that can be managed using ultrasound therapy include:
TENDONITIS / TENDINITIS:
Inflammation of the tendon tissue that joins the muscle to the bone is described by this generic term. The most frequent reason for soft-tissue pain is this. It can happen at any age, but adults who play a lot of sports are more likely to experience it. Due to the tendons’ propensity to lose their flexibility and become weaker with age, elderly persons are also susceptible to it.