Therapeutic ultrasound operates at frequencies between 1 and 3 MHz in continuous or pulsed mode.
Thermal effects occur primarily in continuous mode. They are a result of sound absorption by the tissue.
Heat develops mainly at boundary layers, i.e., at transition areas between skin, adipose tissue and bones. These reflect sound waves stronger than the surrounding tissue. The body responds to this stimulus by pumping fresh blood to the heated areas to cool them down. The stimulation of blood circulation and the warming effects in deep tissue layers result in pain relief and muscle relaxation.
Mechanical effects can be achieved in pulsed mode. Due to sound pressure, molecules in the sonicated tissue experience vibrations and accelerations which have the effect of a high-frequency vibration massage.
Stiff joints and tense muscles can be relaxed by the vibration of sound waves. These vibrations form cavitation bubbles in the body tissue which dissolve locally inflamed and hardened tissue structures.
Thermal and mechanical effects also improve the cell permeability of calcium and sodium ions, causing physiological changes and a stimulation of metabolic and self-healing processes.
Areas of application
- Degenerative rheumatologic joint diseases (rheumatism, arthrosis, arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis)
- Sprains (distortions)
- Chronic muscle pain (myalgia)
- Muscle distortions, torn muscle fibers
- Muscle tension, muscle hardening
- Tennis / golfer's elbow
- Tendon pain and injuries (tendinopathy)
- Nerve and tendon irritations
- Tissue adhesions
- Painful scars
- Dermatological diseases (scleroderma, keloids)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome