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WHAT ARE THE ULTRASOUNDS

In physiotherapy, ultrasound provides a fundamental aid in the treatment of numerous disorders. Essentially, they are acoustic vibrations that the human ear is not able to perceive and which are obtained artificially in an artificial way using the properties of mineral crystals that undergo the action of an alternating current field. Compressing and dilating, this field emits the vibrations of the ultrasounds: the irradiation thus produced gives life to a micro-massage of great intensity that intervenes on the tissues in depth. As a consequence of the vibration, the intercellular and cellular structures collide and generate heat: in short, in addition to a mechanical effect, a thermal effect is also produced. Ultrasound therapy allows to relax contracted muscles and has an analgesic effect; in addition, the trophic effect and fibrotic action should not be underestimated. For example, ultrasound therapy is particularly indicated for epicondylitis, Dupuvtren's disease, periarthritis of humerus and scapula (also with calcifications), neuritis, sciatica. Absolutely contraindicated, however, in the presence of acute phlebitis, osteoporosis and neoplasia located near the sexual organs.

Particularly useful, for example, is ultrasound therapy for the treatment of whiplash. When the ultrasounds enter the body, the various internal particles, due to the vibrations, are moved, and the same thing happens for the inflammatory liquid, which is consequently stimulated to reabsorb. In practice, ultrasounds are nothing more than acoustic waves whose frequency is between one and three mega-hertz. Obtained through the same method used for ultrasound, they are produced by exploiting the so-called winter piezoelectric effect.
Furthermore, ultrasounds produce heat by yielding to the fabric that passes through energy. A second effect is caused by the increase in the permeability of the cell membrane, which therefore facilitates the entry of nutrients and at the same time the elimination of waste. It should be emphasized that in the body the waves penetrate inversely proportional to the frequency. To give an example, ultrasounds with a frequency of three mega-hertz reach a depth of one centimeter, while ultrasounds with a frequency of one mega-hertz reach a depth of three centimeters. It must be said, however, that the application on the body is not painful or invasive.

The machine that generates ultrasound is composed of a transmitter head and a current generator, and produces an output power of less than three watts. The treatment generally lasts a maximum of ten or fifteen minutes, and there are two possible ways of application: with the fixed head or the moving head. The first mode is used when the area to be treated is rather limited, such as a calcaneal spur; the second way, instead, is used for less circumscribed areas. The fixed head is blocked and held firmly by means of a mechanical arm, while the moving head, also called the massage head, requires the physiotherapist to slide the handpiece over the patient's skin, possibly rubbing it. Ultrasound is particularly effective for the treatment of capsulitis, tendonitis, bursitis, arthrosis, organized hematoma, joint inflammation, scar tissue, inflammation and periarticular calcifications, especially in the first phase. To give an example, several studies show that thanks to the application of ultrasound, the tibia fracture heals in a time reduced by forty percent compared to the norm.
The contraindications, vice versa, are especially valid for varicose veins, articular prostheses, osteoporosis with high turnover, neoplastic tissues, thrombophlebitis and pregnancies, as well as presence of fragments of metallic nature. Thanks to ultrasound therapy, osteopathy and physiotherapy allow to solve various disorders in a simple and rapid manner. The approach turns out to be decidedly sweet, and naturally puts the respect of the entire anatomical structure first. For what concerns the whiplash, for example, the ultrasound intervenes on the area subject to an unexpected and abrupt shift, and solves the problem without painful treatments.
The application techniques are essentially two: immersion or by contact. The first case is used when the areas to be treated are very painful or too small: the organ affected by the pathology is immersed in water at a temperature of thirty-seven degrees. The technique for contact, however, involves the use of electrodes, mobile or fixed, which come into contact with the skin, separated - if necessary - from a gel). For the contact mode the times range from a minimum of five to a maximum of ten minutes, while for the application of the dive mode it takes at most fifteen minutes (but care must be taken to avoid that the water temperature drops: in that case, the effectiveness of the therapy is reduced). Although the positive effects of ultrasound in physiotherapy are physically proven, it should be noted that the actual efficacy, in the presence of bone, muscle or tendon disorders or bruises, inflammations and fractures, depends on several factors, which can not always be quantified. We refer, for example, to the frequency of application and the number of sessions, to the correctness of the modalities and to the frequency of the waves.



It is, as you can easily guess, sometimes random and variable factors (for example it is difficult to check that the water temperature is kept constant throughout the treatment). In other words, more than sure results of healing, it is reasonable to expect, from physiotherapy with ultrasound, noticeable reductions in pain: it, therefore, is ideal for neuritis and sciatica, even if many studies show curative effects in the disintegration action of calcifications.
In conclusion, it can be argued without fear of being denied that the application of ultrasound in physiotherapy is a suitable solution to alleviate pain and reduce suffering in the presence of numerous disorders: in order to achieve definitive results, however, in some cases it is good to combine the high frequency wave with other therapies.


 
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