A Study Of Ultrasound Therapy Shows A Clear Effect On Trigger Point Sensitivity
Quick muscle knot orientation: So-called muscle knots AKA trigger points are small unexplained sore spots in muscle tissue associated with stiffness and soreness. No one doubts that they are there, but they are unexplained and controversial. They can be surprisingly intense, cause pain in confusing patterns, and they grow like weeds around other painful problems and injuries, but most healthcare professionals know little about them, so misdiagnosis is epidemic. For more information about how trigger points might be involved in your own medical history, see PainScience.coms best-selling tutorial:
File this one under intriguing: Canadian researchers treated trigger points in 50 patients with either ultrasound or a sham, and the amount of pressure on the trigger point required to induce pain was measured before and after. Trigger points treated with ultrasound were more tolerant of pressure than those that were not treated, at 1, 3 and 5 minutes after treatment.34 The improvement was no longer significant just 10 and 15 minutes later, however so the effect in this case was brief. The authors concluded:
low-dose ultrasound evokes short-term segmental antinociceptive effects on trigger points which may have applications in the management of musculoskeletal pain.
Low Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound
Low intensity pulsed ultrasound has therapeutic application to accelerate the healing of bone fractures including cases of nonunion . The characteristics of the pulsed ultrasound, for example, 1.5-MHz frequency with 30-mW/cm2 spatial average temporal average intensity, are in the range of diagnostic ultrasound. The biophysical mechanisms for the therapeutic action are uncertain for this application. Therapy involves multiple treatments of 20 min each day by applying the large flat transducer to the site of injury and continuing treatment for periods of months. Although the process appears to be safe and effective, the therapy is slow and its use is predominantly limited to management of non-healing fractures.
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General Guidance For Therapeutic Ultrasound Safety
Therapeutic ultrasound methods provide a substantial armamentarium for medical practice. In addition, ultrasound brings fundamentally favorable safety characteristics to the clinic. For example, ionizing radiation with its dose accumulation and cancer risk is absent from ultrasound methods. Low energy exposures, below the threshold for a bioeffect, do not accumulate to produce the effect, even if repeated many times. The ultrasonic waves are dispersed and poorly transmitted in air: no lead gloves, aprons or other protective gear are needed for ultrasound diagnosis or therapy. However, this powerful modality does require attention to several safety factors in order to achieve the optimum benefit to risk ratio.
Prospective New Methods Of Therapeutic Ultrasound
In this era of ultrasonics research, several new means of applying ultrasound for therapy are undergoing intensive research and development. The novel methods utilize low frequency, moderate power ultrasound aided by stabilized microbubbles for gas body activation, or very high power pulsed ultrasound with vigorous cavitation.
Direct sonothrombolysis using external, typically low frequency ultrasound has been tested for treatment of thrombotic disease, such as stroke . This new strategy shows promise, but also has shown a potential for deleterious side effects. For example, increased brain hemorrhage was found in a clinical trail for treatment with 300 kHz ultrasound plus tissue plasminogen activator relative to treatment with tissue plasminogen activator alone . Recent work suggests that microbubbles enhance thrombolysis and may be of value in improving stroke therapy .
Another potential application in brain utilizes transcranial pulsed ultrasound , at relatively low levels , to produce cortical and hippocampal stimulation in mice . Since measured temperature gradients were < 0.01°C, nonthermal mechanisms for the neuronal effects were hypothesized.
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How Does Ultrasound Therapy Work
This Therapy includes an Ultrasound probe which makes direct contact with the injured area. The head of this probe has crystals which vibrate when an electric field is created.
These vibrating crystals create sound waves that come to contact with the injury. The tissues in the area then vibrate, which causes a warm sensation. The heat formed increases the size of the blood vessels in the surrounding area. Increase in the size of these vessels required more blood in that place, hastening the otherwise slow healing process.
A gel is applied to the area of the injury to have minimal friction and for the sound waves to pass through. The probe is then moved in a circular motion around the area.
Benefits Of Ultrasound Therapy Devices
Ultrasound Therapy treatments provide multiple therapeutic benefits for people and animals alike. Heating and massaging injured muscles and tissues allows better blood flow and reduced swelling. Both are key to rehabbing injuries and aiding in recovery after surgery. Muscles and joints tend to tighten after trauma. This response is good for limiting additional damage but can hinder the natural healing process. Ultrasound waves help by penetrating deeper to heat tissue damage, reduce swelling, and ultimately pain relief.
The ability to heat and massage musculoskeletal damage helps in many ways, including:
Improved tissue relaxation and local blood flow
Therapeutic ultrasound also decreases pain and aids in the breakdown of scar tissue.
An ultrasound therapy device treatment is non-invasive and well-tolerated across diverse patient populations. As an added benefit, limited side-effects relative to other popular medical treatments. Ultrasound therapy machines with adjustable modes available as well as MHz . Choose from different sized soundhead applicators designed specifically for treating:
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And How About Now Update On Eswt Science
Things seem to have changed for the better, though 80-85% effective would still be a hard claim to defend.
Bizarrely, ESWT is being used to treat conditions as unexpected as erectile dysfunction, stroke, and venous leg ulcers. Theres even some preliminary evidence for such uses though not all.
But there are now multiple positive reviews of ESWT for its more common uses, like stubborn cases of plantar fasciitis, a painful irritation of the arch of the foot. A good 2016 example is Lou et al, who concluded that ESWT seems to be particularly effective in relieving pain associated with recalcitrant plantar fasciitis.24 Plantar fasciitis is by far the most widely ESWT-treated condition for some reason: other conditions may be a completely different matter, but certainly the evidence for plantar fasciitis is surprisingly good, almost amazingly so .
A 2009 test of shockwave therapy for hip pain was clearly positive on its face.25
In a similar 2010 test for proximal hamstring tendinopathy, shockwave therapy seemed to handily win.26
But a few positive trials doesnt mean much these days musculoskeletal medicine is badly polluted with underpowered studies with untrustworthy promising results that are mostly good for the CVs of the researchers who produce them. Cynincism is justified. Theres never been any replication of those hip and hamstring results.
And, despite all that, the evidence is predictably mixed.
Shockwave therapy equipment is generally bigger & more badass.
Therapeutic Ultrasound Units For Home Use
Before you buy a personal therapeutic ultrasound device to use at home youll need to know a couple things. Certain classes of therapeutic ultrasound devices require a medical licence or a prescription for purchase. Lower intensity therapeutic soundwaves do not require a doctors prescription. Its not always easy to figure out which is which, so let us do the legwork for you.
Shopping for the best ultrasound therapy unit can be overwhelming and time consuming for professionals. Dont feel bad if it’s confusing on your end too. We dont want you to spend anymore time dealing with uncomfortable symptoms any longer than you have to. We’ve created this “Ultrasound Therapy Buying Guide” to help out.
At home ultrasound therapy is easier than you think with our user-friendly portable ultrasound machines. Here are some of our favorite ultrasound devices to use at home.
Best Home Ultrasound Therapy Devices Available
Home ultrasound machines need to be lightweight and reliable. We offer a variety of Home Ultrasound Units made by Current Solutions, Roscoe Medical, Chattanooga, Dynatronics.
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Therapeutic Ultrasound Portable Ultrasound Machine Pain Management
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Therapeutic ultrasound, also referred to as ultrasound therapy, is a treatment modality most commonly used by physical, occupational and other experienced therapists to promote tissue healing and to treat pain. Not to be confused with diagnostic ultrasound, which is when ultrasound is used to see inside of the body, such as in pregnancy, therapeutic ultrasound is often utilized to treat chronic pain conditions and to speed the process of healing and repair through the use of sound waves generated through a transducer head. These special devices more efficiently penetrate soft tissues and can be a wonderful adjunct to many healing modalities.
Rehabmart is pleased to offer a comprehensive selection of superior quality ultrasound therapy devices from innovative manufacturers that include Mettler Electronics, Chattanooga, Fabrication Enterprises and ProMed Specialties.
What is Therapeutic Ultrasound?
What are the Benefits of Therapeutic Ultrasound?
Cavitation refers to the process of microscopic gas bubbles in the tissues expanding and contracting quickly, a process that non-thermal therapeutic ultrasound causes with its introduction of energy into the body. Experts theorize that cavitation helps speed up cellular processes leading to faster healing of the injured tissues.
Hulet Smith, OT
The Main Benefits Of The Best Ultrasound Machine
Results and benefits of the treatment depend on the beauty substance used for skin-care therapy, you can properly analyze the skin and target specific problems and concerns. Though there are the main benefits to expect from any Ultrasound treatment.
- A reduction in the appearance of fine lines, deep wrinkles
- A dramatic lifting of the sagging skin
- Increases blood circulation
- Overall improvement of the skin texture and tone
- Increased collagen production.
- Heart disease/pacemaker users
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Ultrasound Therapy Machine Soundheads Applicators And Wands
Each ultrasound therapy machine has a soundhead applicator also called a transducer . The Ultrasound Machine Applicator generates sound waves which penetrate soft tissues. These sound waves cause microscopic vibrations in the deep tissue molecules, which increases both heat and friction creating a warming effect. This warming effect is subtle and generally well tolerated by the patient, but offers many therapeutic benefits.
Soundhead applicators come in different sizes in order to be used for different areas of the body. Ultrasound devices like the Mettler 740 and 740X come standard with three different applicators: 1 cm2, 5 cm2, and 10 cm2.
Faqs For Therapeutic Ultrasound Units
What is the best home ultrasound machine?
The Current Solutions US 2000 is a great ultrasound therapy device for home use. Not only is it easy to use, but it comes standard with a carrying case and ultrasound gel so it can be used immediately.
What is the best ultrasound therapy machine for professional physiotherapist?
There are a number of great ultrasound devices to use in a professional setting. The ComboCare Ultrasound/E-Stim combination device is a portable device that can be used in the office or treat patients off-site.
Can I buy a ultrasound therapy machine for home?
Yes! There are some machines that require a prescription to purchase for home use, but there are some devices that can be purchased without an rx.
Where can I buy a physiotherapy ultrasound device?
Weve made it easy to purchase the perfect ultrasound therapy device for your needs in one place at prohealthcareproducts.com. Not only that, but we also carry all necessary accessories like ultrasound gel, carrying case, bottle warmers and mobile carts.
How do ultrasound machines work? What function do they serve?
Ultrasound therapy uses soundhead applicators that create heat by vibrating crystals. When applied to a treated area, this vibration translates to the tissues making a deep heating effect. Benefits of this deep heating are: improved circulation which opens up blood vessels allowing more oxygen to be delivered to injured tissues which generates tissue repair.
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High Intensity Focused Ultrasound
High intensity focused ultrasound was initially studied clinically for thermal ablation of inoperable brain tissue for Parkinsons disease . In a HIFU system, a signal generator is connected to a focusing transducer, which produces very high local intensities of > 1 kW/cm2 of 0.57 MHz ultrasound at the focal spot. The lesion produced in tissue typically may be a few mm in diameter and in length. The position of this spot must be carefully controlled and moved in order to ablate larger volumes of tissue. This method is approved by the FDA in the USA for treating uterine fibroids , cardiac ablation , visceral soft tissue ablation , and aesthetic treatment to lift the eyebrow . In addition, a method was developed and was approved for treatment of glaucoma using HIFU .
In addition to external focused devices, a number of other devices and systems are being developed for soft tissue coagulation which are primarily used in non-invasive approaches, or through natural orifices such as the transrectal approach for prostate treatments . For example, transurethral ultrasound has been proposed for heating the prostate , and endoscopic treatment using an intraductal ultrasound probe has been used to treat bile duct tumors .
Ultrasound Reborn As Shockwave Therapy
ESWT is high tech. The main implication of this for most patients is that it aint cheap.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy is a technology that uses strong sound waves to stimulate healing in tissues the same vague rationale for essentially all gadget-powered treatments. It can be painfully intense. Think of it as fancy ultrasound with a no-pain-no-gain twist.
Therapeutic ultrasound has fallen out of favor as research has shown a lack of efficacy and a lack of scientific basis for proposed biophysical effects.
Baker et al, 2001, Physical Therapy
Except it hasnt fallen out of favour! Its still widely used. The only professionals its fallen out of favour with, I imagine, are a small minority of scientists and unusually alert clinicians.
Not only that, but ultrasound has found new life in the marketplace as shockwave therapy faster, stronger waves, with a bigger price tag! Consider this marketing language from a Canadian company, Shockwave Institute, specializing in ESWT:
Provided you are a candidate for this type of treatment, clinical studies suggest there is a 8085% chance this technology will improve your condition.
from the Shockwave Alberta FAQ, as of Nov 30, 2009
Shockwave Alberta certainly doesnt think ultrasound has fallen out of favour! Here we have an entire company devoted to delivery of therapeutic US, and selling it with the implication that it is not only proven to be effective, but exactly how effective to within 5%!
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The Gate Control Mechanism: A Particularly Bogus Rationale For Ultrasound
Physical therapists often cite “counterstimulation and the gate control mechanism as a justification for US and ESWT . This is nonsense, and a great example of why patients should be cautious, especially with the expense of ESWT. It sounds much smarter than it is.
The gate control mechanism is an important idea in pain science, proposed in 1965 by Dr. Ronald Melzack and Dr. Patrick Wall,33 and still accepted today as an explanation for a familiar phenomenon: the way we rub injured body parts for a little pain relief. The idea is that pain signals pass through a gate in the spinal column, which can be blocked by other sensations, which are given priority by the nervous system.
So the idea with US is that the stimulation of the sound waves closes the gate to pain. This may well occur, because counterstimulation is a real phenomenon but its also nothing to write home about. Its just a mechanism for transient, minor pain relief. It can be achieved just as easily by rubbing the area yourself! It certainly doesnt fix anything, which is what ultrasound is supposed to be doing. So bringing it up is just a bit of bafflegab, a scientific-sounding rationalization for an expensive therapy. There is no reason to think that any kind of ultrasound closes the gate better or longer than any other stimulus.
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