We are pleased to announce that Brightwater Medical Centre has acquired a new Ultrasound Machine to assist patients with rapid recovery.
What is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound machines produce sound waves that have a healing effect on muscles, ligaments and bones. These sound waves are ultrasonic, beyond the upper limit of human hearing. The two most common frequencies are 1MHz (megahertz) and 3MHz. These waves travel through the skin and are absorbed by the soft tissues and bones.
How Does It Work?
In soft tissues such as muscles and ligaments, the machine is used in thermal (heating effect) or non thermal (non heating effect) mode.
High intensity continuous ultrasound can cause the tissues to have a heating effect. This heating effect causes the surrounding blood vessels to expand, improving the blood circulation to that area. The heat also increases the metabolic rate of the cells othe soft tissue, increasing its healing capability.
When there is acute injury to the soft tissue or bone, the heating effect can cause an adverse reaction. In this instance, low intensity pulsed ultrasound is preferred. The low intensity, pulsed ultrasonic waves increase the cellular activity of the injured soft tissue and promotes faster healing, without the detrimental effects of heating.
Does It Really Work? I Didn’t Feel Anything.
During the treatment, you will not feel much. The most that you will feel during a session is mild warmth.
Evidence for Ultrasound on Soft Tissue
Ultrasound remains a popular choice among physiotherapists mainly due to its clinical effectiveness reported by many clients. As for the efficacy of ultrasound therapy in the healing of soft tissues, there is unfortunately no conclusive consensus on its therapeutic effects. Current research suggests that effective evidence based application of ultrasound is highly dependent on therapist knowledge and appropriate training in ultrasound application.
Strong Evidence for Effectiveness of Ultrasound in Fracture Healing
There is very strong evidence in recent research to show that low intensity, pulsed ultrasound, started seven days after a diagnosed fracture of the bone, applied daily for one session of 20 minutes each time, can induce healing of the bones and reduces the healing time by 20-40%.
1. Nussbaum, E.L. (1997). Ultrasound: To heat or not to heat-that is the question. Physical Therapy Review, 2, 59-72. 2. Watson, T. (2008). Ultrasound in contemporary physiotherapy practice. Ultrasonics, 48, 321-329. 3. Dyson, M. (1987). Mechanisms involved in therapeutic ultrasound. Physiotherapy, 73(3), 116-120. 4. Heckman et al. (1994). Acceleration of tibial fracture0healing by non-invasive, low intensity, pulsed ultrasound. The journal of Bone and Joint Surgery Am, 76:26-34.