June 23, 2021

Chronic Pain Treatment Using Ultrasound Therapy

Chronic Pain

Pain in the body is one of the worst feelings that anyone ever had to feel. It not only makes you feel lethargic but as a whole affects your daily life activities. With the pain becoming unbearable, your mental health, physical health, and complete lifestyle are affected. Back pain, neck pain, sciatica pain, lower back pain, etc are some of the common types of pain. These types of pain are either acute pain or chronic pain.

In this article, we are particularly going to talk about chronic pain treatment with the help of ultrasound therapy. According to the doctors of the hmc hospital, pain is termed chronic pain if it lasts for about 12 weeks. This type of pain may be dull or sharp and in the affected area, it can cause an aching and burning sensation. This pain would be like something more of a coming and going pain, steady or irregular pain. This type of pain can occur anywhere in any part of the body.

Now, how many of you know that ultrasound therapy can also be used as a potential treatment for chronic pain Occupational therapists and physical therapists use this particular form of therapy not only to promote tissue healing but also to relieve pain.

Even though ultrasound therapy is not completely effective for the treatment of chronic pain, it can help in reducing the pain, says a sonologist in Lahore. This therapy also helps in bursitis, myofascial pain syndrome, osteoarthritis, phantom limb pain, pain caused by scar tissue, carpal tunnel syndrome, sprains, and strains.

Ultrasound Therapy Types

Ultrasound therapy is divided into two types namely mechanical and thermal. Both of these therapies make use of transducer heads which produce sound waves which are then used to penetrate into the soft tissues.

  • Mechanical Ultrasound Therapy– This therapy uses sound waves, these waves in the form of pulses are able to penetrate the tissues. It causes only a minor warming effect, it can also cause contraction and expansion in the tiny gas bubbles of the soft tissues. This in turn causes a decrease in the inflammatory response thus decreasing the pain by reducing the swelling.
  • Thermal Ultrasound Therapy– This type of therapy uses more of a transmission of the continuous sound waves. Due to this heat and friction are increased in the deep tissues. This warming effect enhances the healing in the soft tissues which will increase the metabolism at the cellular level.

How Ultrasound Therapy is used for the Treatment

On your visit for the ultrasound therapy, your therapist will firstly select a small surface area in order to perform the therapy for 5-10 minutes.

Then either on your skin or on the head of the transducer, a gel is applied, that will help the sound waves to penetrate your skin easily.

During the whole procedure of the therapy, your therapist will continuously move the head of the transducer around and over the selected area for your therapy.

What Will Happen To Me During The Process?

This is a question that would be popping into your mind regarding the therapy. So, the answer to this question is that during ultrasound therapy, some people might feel a slight warmth or mild pulsing on the skin. But, if you feel nothing on your skin, don’t be surprised, it’s perfectly okay. If however, that particular skin is sensitive to the feeling of touch then you’ll feel discomfort and uneasiness as the head of the transducer touches your skin.

But, you need to remember that this therapy should not be painful at all.

Is Ultrasound Therapy Safe?

The next question that comes to your mind would be whether this therapy is safe or not? So, according to the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considered safe but it should be performed by a specialist.

The head of the transducer should be kept moving, for if the head of the transducer keeps being in one place, it would potentially cause a burn on the tissues of the body underneath.

Here are a few of the sensitive body parts where ultrasound therapy shouldn’t be performed, which are:

  • Around eyes, broken skins, and breasts
  • Over sexual organs
  • Over the pelvic region, abdomen, or the women with lower back pain, who are either pregnant or menstruating
  • Over the area(s) where plastic surgery is done
  • Near or over the areas having malignant tumors
  • Over blood flow or areas with impaired sensation
  • Over lesions or healing fractures

In the end, you need to discuss your medical history with your therapist before therapy. If you don’t feel any significant change then you need to consult your doctor for any other alternative treatment.