If you have chronic back pain, you may be frustrated that nothing seems to provide relief. Seeing a chiropractor might help when home treatments aren't working. A chiropractor has different ways of treating back pain and one treatment your chiropractor may try is ultrasound therapy. Here's how it works to relieve pain.
Ultrasound Therapy Increases Circulation
One benefit of ultrasound therapy is that it increases the circulation in your injured back tissue. Blood flow is important for healing since blood carries nutrients and oxygen. There are two types of ultrasound treatments. One is thermal ultrasound and the other is mechanical. Thermal ultrasound increases heat in the injured tissues. The heat helps increase blood flow, and that can speed healing and relieve pain in the same way a heating pad might help you. Mechanical, or non-thermal, ultrasound might be given to reduce swelling and help with scar tissue. Your chiropractor decides if ultrasound is right for you after a full evaluation and then determines the right type of treatment so you have the best effect.
Ultrasound Treatments Are Painless
The benefit of having ultrasound treatments is that they are painless. The treatments are given through a small transducer the chiropractor passes over the skin above the injured area. Your skin is covered with gel first so the transducer glides across easily. The transducer is in constant motion as the ultrasound waves penetrate your body. You might feel some heat in the area, but you may feel nothing at all other than the gliding on your skin.
Ultrasound Treatments May Help Pain Right Away
When your back pain is caused by a tissue injury, it takes time for the tissues to repair themselves. Your pain could last for weeks depending on the nature of your injury. Ultrasound treatments help speed the healing of your tissues so your pain is reduced more quickly and finally eliminated. A decrease in inflammation and the application of heat could result in immediate reduction in your pain. However, you'll probably still take multiple treatments because your pain won't be eliminated until the tissues heal. Another way ultrasound helps with immediate pain relief is by delivering medications to the painful area. Medication can be mixed with the gel placed on your skin and delivered deep into your tissues.
Ultrasound therapy is not the same as an ultrasound imaging test you may have had done. While they're similar, ultrasound therapy is not a diagnostic tool, it's intended to treat injuries and pain. It is just one way a chiropractor can help with your chronic back pain, and you may take other treatments along with it to help your back heal as quickly as possible.