Therapeutic ultrasound works by both thermal effects and non-thermal effects. It has been shown to help with treating pain, tendon and ligament injuries, fractures, muscle contractures, scar tissue formation, and muscle/trigger point dysfunction. Therapeutic ultrasound helps to break down scar tissue, decrease pain, increase healing rates, improve circulation, and increase tissue extensibility.
Thermal effects: Therapeutic ultrasound creates deep heat within the tissues. This is highly effective for improving the flexibility within the tissues. Additionally, it’s very effective in preparing the tissues prior to manual therapy techniques. Patients typically experience a comfortable warming sensation during the process.
Non-thermal effects: Therapeutic ultrasound also works by a process referred to as “cavitation”. Cavitation is the creation of microscopic gas bubbles that are rapidly expanding and contracting within the tissues. Cavitation is effective for speeding the cellular process, facilitating healing, and increasing blood flow.