In physiotherapy, several means are used for pain management to ensure it remains at a tolerable level. Thermotherapy, hydrotherapy, and electrotherapy, among others, are techniques that can be used.
Ultrasound is one of these methods; it helps reduce pain, aids in tissue healing, and thus promotes recovery. Some people tend to think that ultrasound is ineffective because they feel nothing. However, ultrasound treatment is more long-term; it goes deeper and directly affects physiological elements.
Ultrasound is actually a sound wave that creates mechanical stirring, produced by emitting a high frequency through a transducer. This frequency is imperceptible to humans. It occurs through a process of molecular compression and separation, which can be compared to a wave. At the physiological level, ultrasound causes vibration of elements in the targeted area, specifically molecular movement, facilitating energy exchange between them. When applied, this modality can have different effects depending on the intended purpose.
The resulting thermal effect can be mild or high. Increasing the frequency could intensify the heat too much. Excessive heat production, if uncontrolled, causes cavitation or even uncontrolled molecular explosion. This phenomenon can pose a risk of burns on the exposed site, causing the opposite of the intended effect.
Ultrasound treatments must have a specific duration and should not be prolonged in hopes of faster healing. It is calculated based on the area to be treated and the type of bodily damage. It can be used continuously or pulsed depending on the stage of the injury and the desired effect at that time. There is no improvisation.
For example, to treat a recent injury with this method, the choice will be made to create little thermal effect. In this regard, different parameters will be used so that the energy input is low to allow for a mechanical effect. There will be slight heat production, which will be controlled so as not to increase the inflammatory process.
On the other hand, mechanical effects may be indicated to break adhesions thanks to the stirring that promotes the modification or detachment of poorly healed tissues. Subsequently, the created thermal effect brings more blood to the area for waste cleaning. However, caution is needed. This treatment method can be a real danger or injury risk for some people. Serious contraindications or precautions must be considered, especially for people with fragile vessels, cancer, infectious diseases, and certain specific regions.
The effectiveness of ultrasound is no longer in question in the recovery process of a person following an injury when it is not contraindicated. It is a secure treatment method when in the hands of a professional.