Ultrasound is a treatment technique that uses high frequency sounds applied using an applicator that is in direct contact with the patients skin. A gel is applied to the skin to help reduce friction but to allow the ultrasonic waves to transmit through the area.
In physiotherapy therapeutic ultrasound is used and the sound waves are generally absorbed by ligaments, tendons, fascia and connective tissue. This means that therapeutic ultrasound can be used to help treat ligament sprains, bursitis, muscle strains and tendonitis.
Ultrasound helps by firstly speeding up the healing process by increasing the blood flow to the injured area. Secondly it can also help reduce pain in the area by decreasing swelling and reducing muscle spasm. Lastly ultrasound can help to almost massage the tissue (ie ligaments, tendons etc) and soften scar tissue. Ultrasound has been proven to help with tissue repair particularly soft tissue injuries.