Ultrasound is a healing technique that is often used by physical therapists as a treatment option. The low and high frequency sound waves act by warming muscle and deep tissue. Sound waves are capable of penetrating into the muscles, enabling tissue relaxation to take place. This mechanism occurs as sound waves are transmitted to specific areas of surrounding tissue and vasculature. The warming effect of the sound waves helps to increase the vessel vasodilation and blood circulation to the affected areas. Tissue relaxation is beneficial when treating tight muscles and muscle spasms.
Ultrasound is commonly used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions such as: strains, sprains and tendonitis. A licensed physical therapist uses an ultrasound machine to administer this deep heating technique. A wand or sound head is pressed gently against the skin, close to the affected area of the injured tissue. The wand is then moved in tiny circular sweeps. Typically, small amounts of gel are used to help the sound waves absorb better into the muscles and the skin.
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