Ultrasonic therapy was once a luxury available only in expensive spas and clinics. Renowned its ability to penetrate muscles and massage individual muscle fibers, ultrasound is also effective in removing unsightly wrinkles, redistributing facial and body fat and lessening the appearance of skin stains.
We can incorporate ultrasound therapy in any other therapy you choose. It is most often put together with massage. A traditional massage only massages your skin’s surface. Ultrasound is a tender stimulation that penetrates into your body to provide relief to muscles, iron out wrinkles and break-up fat deposits.
Ultrasound has been scientifically and medically tested to relieve pain and promote healing. It has been endorsed by the Canadian Institute of Spinal Health as a product that aids in back health. It is often recommended by chiropractor and Doctors for their patients with chronic pain.
We utilize a custom blended gel to use with our ultrasound treatments. Through the process of phonophoresis, our gel delivers anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties deep into the body. Together, the combination of phonophoretically delivered essential oils and regular ultrasound therapy can provide incredible pain relief and speed the healing process.
What is Therapeutic Ultrasound?
Therapeutic Ultrasound Device Therapeutic Ultrasound is a method of stimulating tissue beneath the skin’s surface using sound waves. It is a very high frequency massage that can penetrate up to 5″ below the surface of your skin.
The sound waves are of a very high frequency, typically between 800,000Hz and 2,000,000Hz. The sound can not be heard by humans or animals. Humans can only hear sounds up to about 20,000Hz. This very high frequency sound affects very small molecules though like medicines and cells in your body and actually causes them to move.
How ultrasound energy is transferred into the body is a function of many factors. The frequency of the ultrasound waves is actually opposite to how deep they will penetrate the body. A 1MHz ultrasound will penetrate about 4″ below the skin whereas a 2MHz ultrasound unit will only penetrate about 2″. While a low frequency means deeper penetration, using too low a frequency will mean that the waves are too wide to properly move the molecules. The frequency also has a significant impact on the phonophoretic properties of the ultrasound. Ultrasound is specially tuned to a frequency that maximizes penetration, energy transfer and phonophoresis.
Peak Intensity vs. Average Intensity
The power output rating is often broken down into two separate units, peak intensity and average intensity. Peak intensity can be thought of as how tall the waves are that are being sent into your body. The waves need to be large enough to affect the tissue and provide the desired massage effect. At the same time, your body tissue needs breaks between groups of waves to cool down. So, Ultrasound machines actually send the waves in groups giving your body a vibrate-rest-vibrate-rest effect. The average intensity is a measure of how much energy is transferred over a period vibrate-rest cycles.
The important measurement part of ultrasound is the watts per square centimeter mentioned above, not the total unit power. It is more effective to treat the affected area more frequently and for longer periods with lower power.
What does it do?
The heating and massaging effects of therapeutic Ultrasound have 3 primary benefits:
Ultrasound Therapy increases blood flow in the treated area which speeds the healing process.
Ultrasound Therapy reduces swelling and edema which are the main sources of pain.
Ultrasound waves gently massage the muscles, tendons and/or ligaments in the treated area. This enhances the recovery rate of damaged tissue without adding strain, and softens any scar tissue that is usually present in an injured area.
Ultrasound can also be used to administer therapeutic medicines into the body. In such a case there are 3 benefits to a treatment, the first two from the massaging effect of ultrasound discussed above, and the third from administering the natural healing properties of essential oils. This is a process known as phonophoresis. Ultrasound with Phonophoresis is rapidly becoming more popular than Ultrasound Therapy alone.
For most injuries and ailments, a cycle of ultrasound therapy usually consists of 5-10 minute treatments 2-3 times per week for the duration of the healing period.
What can be Treated With Ultrasound?
An incredibly wide variety of ailments are treated using ultrasound. Essentially, anywhere there is a desire to promote blood circulation and reduce swelling and edema, ultrasound will help.
Tendon Injuries, Muscle Injuries and Ligament Injuries
Injuries to the tendons, ligaments, muscles and cartilage are treated primarily with ultrasound. Ultrasound helps to reduce swelling and edema which in turn greatly reduces the pain from the injury. The stimulated tissue and increased blood flow speed the healing process. Typically, these types of injuries are very slow to heal and because people continue to try to use the injured body part, the injury is repeatedly stressed. Regular applications of ultrasound over the duration of the healing period will significantly reduce pain and the time to heal.
Recreational Sports and Athletes
Most professional athletes use ultrasound as a preventative modality to protect against injury. Using ultrasound before and after very strenuous activities aids in the warm-up warm-down process. Athletes with chronic ailments from previous injuries will use ultrasound to promote circulation to the injured area and to reduce swelling and pain which may impact their performance. . Many runners utilize Ultrasound, allowing them to get back into competition FASTER and decrease the chance of recurring injuries by eliminating scar tissue using ultrasound therapy.
Treat Your Chronic Pain!
People who suffer from chronic ailments associated with swelling and pain also gain great benefit from ultrasound. Those who suffer from Arthritis, Bursitis, Carpal and Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, and swollen disks use ultrasound to reduce the swelling and pain associated with their ailment. Ailments which are not chronic such as Bursitis and Tunnel Syndromes can be treated and eliminated with ultrasound. For conditions such as arthritis, ultrasound cannot cure the disease but it WILL (1)reduce the pain and swelling significantly (2) Increase flexibility in atrophied (unused and frozen) joints. This allows people to resume their normal daily routine and get back to the active lifestyle they enjoyed in the past. When used for treating painful conditions such as these, ultrasound is typically applied using a medicated gel to gain the phonophoreticbenefit as well.
Muscle Strains, Muscle Tension and Trigger Points (Sensitive Spots in the Muscle with Poor Circulation and Atrophy)
As a therapeutic massage device, ultrasound is very effective at reducing muscle tension. People who suffer muscle tension headaches and migraines use ultrasound on the back of the neck and across upper back (trapezius muscle). This is a very common procedure used by massage therapists and chiropractors for tension headache sufferers.
People receiving treatments often describe the sensation as ‘the machine seems to suck the tension and pain right out of my head through my neck’. In reality what is happening is the ultrasound is releasing the trigger points which are VERY often the source of the pain. Trigger Point Release drains the buildup of lactic acid and other toxins in the area, increasing blood flow and bringing much needed nutrients to the muscle tissue.
Your Next Massage May Include an Ultrasound Treatment!
Our therapists are increasingly offering ultrasound treatments in conjunction with regular massage as a pain free method of releasing trigger points and knots in all the muscles. Using Ultasound on the trigger points of injured muscles helps to relax the muscle from the trauma of the injury. When relaxed the muscle can heal from its injury much more quickly and more effectively with less scar tissue. While full body ultrasound treatments are not practical, ultrasound treatments on localized trouble areas are very effective.
Conditions Treated With Phonophoresis:
|post-injury conditions (dislocations, distortions of joints, inflammation of muscles, tendons, etc)||Plantar Fascitis (Heel Spurs)|
|pain in rheumatic diseases||Rheumatoid Arthritis|
|low-back pain of neurological origin (i.e. root pain, discopathies, sciatica)||Wrist/ Hand/Elbow/Shoulder Sprains and Strains|
|Bursitis and similar inflammatory ailments||Shoulder Capulitis|
|Carpal Tunnel Syndrome||Supraspinatus / Infraspinatus|
|Foot/Toe Sprains/Achilles Sprains and Strains||Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome|
|Ankle/Knee/Calf/Neck Sprains and Strains||Tendonitis (acute or chronic)|
|Hip Sprains, Thigh Sprains/Strains||Tennis Elbow, Golfers Elbow,|
|Ligament Strains||Tension Headaches|
|OsteoArthritis||Upper and Lower Back Strains|
|Post – Exercise Recovery (when the workout goes a bit too far)|