Ultrasounds are sound waves with a frequency of 20 kHz – 1 GHz. This frequency is too high to be heard by the human ear. A human being is able to hear sounds in the frequency range 16 – 20,000 Hz. However, higher frequency sound waves are audible for certain types of animals, such as bats, dolphins or dogs. Ultrasound therapy uses mainly sound waves with a frequency of 1 MHz and 3 MHz.
The positive effects of using ultrasound in therapy are appreciated by specialists in physical therapy around the world.
Ultrasounds affect tissues mechanically (through the so-called “internal tissue massage”), thermally, biologically and chemically. The influence of ultrasounds on the body makes ultrasound therapy an excellent method of physical therapy with local and systemic effects. Ultrasound therapy treatments are particularly valued for positive therapeutic effects in the form of analgesic and regenerative effects.
Ultrasounds relax muscles and make tissues containing collagen more elastic (scars, aponeurosis, tendons, ligaments and joint capsules).
They also accelerate wound healing and treatment of inflammation. They are irreplaceable in sports physical therapy, supporting tissue regeneration after overloads and injuries and giving relief in the case of contractures and fibrosis of muscle tissue. Ultrasound therapy is a painless treatment that lasts about 15 minutes.
The ultrasound therapy has a wide range of effects on tissues. In macroscopic terms, ultrasound therapy allows to return to fitness in the case of cramps, scars, lymphoedema and inflammation. Its effectiveness results from action at the cellular and tissue level, among others by supporting angiogenesis (creating new capillaries), increasing microcirculation and oxygenation of cells, stimulation of protein synthesis, DNA and ATP, increasing collagen concentration and changes in the structure and function of cell membranes, as well as stimulating the activity of fibroblasts (connective tissue cells) and osteoblasts (cells osteoblasts).
Sonotherapy is also used in aesthetic medicine and cosmetics as a method of combating cellulite and adipose tissue.
Indications for the use of ultrasound therapy are the following diseases and conditions:
Contraindications for the use of ultrasound therapy are, among others, cancer, pregnancy, metal implants and coagulation disorders. The decision whether the patient should undergo treatment is made by a medical specialist, after collecting an interview on all important information regarding the patient’s health.