Physical therapy with therapeutic ultrasound

We think of the greyish-blackish paper used to image our internal organs. Or, we imagine the ultrasound being used to view a baby in the womb. However, that’s not the use of ultrasound. It is different from therapeutic ultrasound which is a tool for physical therapy.

What is ultrasound?

Biology defines ultrasound as a technique where sounds are converted into images to show internal body features. Physics says that it is a frequency of sound that exceeds 20kHZ, which is the limit for human audacity. Any sound wave exceeding 20kHZ falls under the umbrella of ultrasound

What is therapeutic ultrasound?

It is used by physical therapists as a treatment tool to relieve pain and mobilize various parts of the musculoskeletal.


Physical therapists treat some of the most common diseases.

  • Carpal Turner syndrome
  • Sore shoulders and frozen shoulder
  • Parkinson disease
  • Shoulder pain
  • Ligament traumas
  • Joint tightness
  • Tears and muscle strains


Most often, therapeutic ultrasound is divided into two types

The thermal US treatment

It raises the temperature to 40degC- 50degC for approximately 5- 10 minutes. Although these aren’t very helpful in soft lesion treatment, some of their effects include increased circulation, reduced inflammation, and an increased fiber extension.

Nonthermal US Therapy

This is where cavitation is most common. Cavitation is a method where energy is transmitted to the body’s muscles. This energy forms microbubbles within the body that contract and expand quickly. It speeds up cellular processes and accelerates curing.


Although US ultrasound is considered a safe method of treatment, there are exceptions.

  • Heat shouldn’t be left in one place for too long.
  • Do not use the over-the-top technique
  • Avoid touching your eyes and sexual organs.
  • It should not be used on any metal objects within the body.
  • It shouldn’t be used around the pacemaker
  • Avoid using around or on cancerous lesions
  • It should not be used on a healing fracture.
  • It should not be used to grow bone.
  • If you have had spine surgery, don’t use it.

Although it is safe and effective for many physical problems, it should only be done under the supervision of a qualified physical therapist. An increase in the frequency, timing, or range of ultrasound can cause injury, instead of rejuvenating. You should immediately report any unbearable heat to your physical therapist and ensure that you choose a professional instead of Quack.