Ultrasound Wave Therapy: Promotes Healing Even For Non Ocean Swimmers

Over 200,000 British citizens are afflicted with chronic wounds  annually, costing the nation's health service (NHC) over 3 billion dollars to treat. In  the United Kingdom alone, there are 11 million people over the age of 65, 3 million diabetics and 10 million smokers. The likelihood of these groups experiencing wound-healing issues rises with every passing day. With diabetics particularly, foot and leg ulcers are common because of poor circulation and nerve damage and they are very difficult to treat. Healing time is crucial to effective clinical care.

The new study and ultrasound treatment of skin ulcers

English researchers from the University of Sheffield and Bristol have completed a study recently published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology that explored the healing properties of low-intensity ultrasound in treating skin ulcers and bed sores so prevalent among diabetics and the elderly. Healing time can be reduced by as much as one-third with the vibrations of ultrasound, which when transmitted via skin, awaken wounded cells and stimulate recovery.

 

Ultrasound Therapy At Work: Source: Sheffield.ACUltrasound Therapy At Work: Source: Sheffield.AC

 

The study was conducted at Sheffield's University Centre for Membrane Interactions and Dynamics, which is an institution focused on, among other things, understanding membrane 'trafficking' and cellular architecture. It was headed by Dr. Mark Bass and in his own words: "Skin ulcers are excruciatingly painful fo patients and in many cases can only be resolved by amputation of the limb... Ultrasound simply speeds up the normal healing process and the treatment doesn't carry the risk of side-effects that are so often associated with drug treatments."

 

Ultrasound Therapy: Source: SpineuniverseUltrasound Therapy: Source: Spineuniverse

 

How does ultrasound therapy work?

Physical therapists facilitate healing at the cellular level by administering therapeutic ultrasound, which conveys a high-frequency mechanical vibration obtained from sound waves. Its application is known to reduce pain and inflammation, increase circulation and the mobility of soft tissues.

Ultrasound therapy is simple and quick, lasting anywhere from a few minutes to less than an hour. Depending on the purpose of the therapy, ultrasound can be performed a few times a day. The affected area is massaged with a special probe covered with a conducting gel, which increases its efficiency.

 

Ultrasound Machine: Source: Daeyangmed.EnUltrasound Machine: Source: Daeyangmed.En

 

Ultrasound therapy functions in two diverse ways; thermal and mechanical. The thermal method utilizes a more continuous pattern of sound waves, which penetrate deeply into the affected tissues and increase the blood flow. Mechanical ultrasound therapy uses sound wave pulses that create small bubbles in the soft tissue and cause them to expand and contract. This reduces pain levels by reducing the swelling and inflammation of the tissue.

The future of ultrasound therapy

This completed research is just the beginning and paves the way for other studies featuring ultrasound signaling. It has indicated that ultrasound is a safe method for treating chronic wounds and the team is at work refining clinical treatments to improve healing  time even further. Hopes are that the clinical use of ultrasound will expand over the course of the next few years.

Closing thoughts on pain:
Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.~ Joseph Campbell

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