Ultrasound is the transmission of sound waves that are converted into heat energy. Microscopic vibrations propagate within the deeper molecules creating friction this friction is converted to heat within the muscles and soft tissue.
Ultrasound is typically used to improve circulation which is felt to speed healing within the soft tissue. It has some benefits with knee injuries, contusions, and elbow tendinopathies. It is usually followed up with exercise and stretching.
Ultrasound is performed with the client in a sitting or lying position. A gel is applied to the affected area as the sound head is moved over the area for an 8-10-minute duration of time. The intensity of the ultrasound is determined by the thickness and diameter of the tissue. The person feels little to no sensation as the treatment progresses.
Insurance does not cover the cost of ultrasound treatment as research has proven it to be mostly a placebo.
As with any modality ultrasound is contraindicated for anyone with a pacemaker, metal implant, cancer, pregnancy, open wound, thin skin, on blood thinners, has sensory disturbances. Always be upfront with your provider on your medical history.
Although there is little evidence to prove the efficacy of using ultrasound some people report a decrease in pain, improved mobility, range of motion, and overall function with use.