16 Therapeutic Ultrasound

Therapeutic Ultrasound

Therapeutic ultrasound involves the use of a hand‐held machine against the skin to deliver sound waves (vibrations) with the aim of relieving pain and to speed up recovery. Based on randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews therapeutic ultrasound does not have much research evidence supporting its use (Aiyer et al., 2020; Ebadi et al., 2020; Noori et al., 2020). Primary mechanism of action is likely through non-specific contextual effects.

Key Takeaways

Ultrasound involves the use of sound waves (vibrations) with the aim of relieving acute and chronic pain. Based on randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews therapeutic ultrasound does not have much evidence supporting its use.

References and Sources

Aiyer, R., Noori, S. A., Chang, K. V., Jung, B., Rasheed, A., Bansal, N., Ottestad, E., & Gulati, A. (2020). Therapeutic Ultrasound for Chronic Pain Management in Joints: A Systematic Review. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.), 21(7), 1437–1448. https://doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnz102

Baker, K. G., Robertson, V. J., & Duck, F. A. (2001). A review of therapeutic ultrasound: biophysical effects. Physical therapy, 81(7), 1351–1358.

Desmeules, F., Boudreault, J., Roy, J. S., Dionne, C., Frémont, P., & MacDermid, J. C. (2015). The efficacy of therapeutic ultrasound for rotator cuff tendinopathy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Physical therapy in sport: official journal of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine, 16(3), 276–284. doi:10.1016/j.ptsp.2014.09.004

Ebadi, S., Henschke, N., Forogh, B., Nakhostin Ansari, N., van Tulder, M. W., Babaei-Ghazani, A., & Fallah, E. (2020). Therapeutic ultrasound for chronic low back pain. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 7, CD009169.https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD009169.pub3

Noori, S. A., Rasheed, A., Aiyer, R., Jung, B., Bansal, N., Chang, K. V., Ottestad, E., & Gulati, A. (2020). Therapeutic Ultrasound for Pain Management in Chronic Low Back Pain and Chronic Neck Pain: A Systematic Review. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.), 21(7), 1482–1493. https://doi.org/10.1093/pm/pny287

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Evidence-Based Massage Therapy by Richard Lebert is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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