Therapeutic ultrasound is a treatment commonly used in physical therapy. Although ultrasound (US) is a form of mechanical energy (not electrical) ultrasound therapy does fall into the field of electro-medical stimulation therapy. Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to generate heat and is applied using a transducer head that is placed in direct contact with the skin. By penetrating deep into the musculature and joint tissues the deep heat generated increases circulation to the soft tissues, reduces swelling and chronic inflammation, relaxes tense muscles, decreases pain and stimulates healing processes.
Ultrasound therapy is recommended for any adult who suffers from the most common musculoskeletal and rheumatic diseases associated with pain like arthritis, osteoarthritis, arthrosis as well as spinal problems. Having a soothing effect, ultrasound therapy is suitable for ligament and tendon injuries and bursa. As part of physical therapy it is also used as a complementary treatment in cases of delayed union (bone healing) and soft tissue injuries.
It is strongly suggested that patients with peacemakers, defibrillators, endoprosthesis (artificial joint replacements) or metallic implants are not treated with ultrasound therapy. Furthermore, it is possible that some organs respond particularly sensitive to ultrasound. Persons suffering from eye, heart, brain and spinal cord diseases or malignant neoplasms (tumors, cancer) as well as pregnant women should avoid ultrasound therapy.