How Do Ultrasounds Help with Pain?

  • Posted on: Dec 15 2019
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If you’re in pain, but don’t want to take pain medication all the time, you may have heard about therapeutic ultrasound. This pain management option isn’t something many people understand or even know about most. Most think of ultrasounds in relation to pregnancy, but the technology can be used for much more. In fact, ultrasounds have been used to treat pain as far back as the 1940s!

How Does it Work?

Therapeutic ultrasound is done in much the same way as ultrasounds used to view a fetus is done. The doctor will first apply a transmission gel to the area. Next, they run an ultrasound probe over that area. The gel transfers the vibrations from the probe to the skin.

How Does it Help?

Ultrasound vibrations help increase the flow of blood in the area where they’re applied to. This can help reduce inflammation and swelling. Some studies even suggest that it helps bone fractures heal faster. If you have pain caused by old scar tissue, high intensity ultrasounds can help break that tissue down and relieve the pain. Ultrasound is often used to treat injuries to soft tissue, muscle spasms, and non-acute joint swelling.

Another way ultrasounds can be used in treatment is called phonophoresis. This is a way of administering medication beneath the skin without using a needle. The ultrasound vibrations actually push the medication through the upper layer of the skin.

What to Expect from a Treatment

An ultrasound session doesn’t take long at all. Typically, the doctor will run the probe over the area for about five minutes. However, if the ultrasound is being used to break down scar tissue, it can take longer. During the treatment, the doctor will continue to move the probe around the area. You won’t feel any pain at all. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need to have ultrasounds done several times.

Do You Suffer from Chronic Pain?

If you have pain that you believe could be treated by ultrasound or want to know if ultrasound therapy is an option, contact Maximum Orthopedics today to set up a consultation.

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