There are different ways in which people experience pain. Pain is an unpleasant feeling in your body that causes physical discomfort. It is your body’s way of alerting you to a problem. As your body heals, you stop feeling pain.
Some people, however, never heal. Although the cause of the pain is already gone, the pain continues to persist. Pain like this is called chronic pain.
They defined chronic pain as pain that persists beyond three months, despite medication and treatment. Sometimes, the pain may remain constant while in others it might come and go.
Chronic pain can have actual effects on your day-to-day life and even your mental health. In this article, we will learn about what makes you feel chronic pain, what conditions cause chronic pain, and how to relieve them with an ultrasound machine.
What makes you feel chronic pain?
Sometimes chronic pain has an obvious cause. An initial injury usually causes it, such as a back sprain or pulled muscle. Initially, when you feel pain, the area of injury turns into a pain sensor.
This area sends a message to your brain through an electrical signal that travels from nerve to nerve. Your brain will then process the signal and send out a message that you are hurt. It’s believed that chronic pain develops after nerves become damaged. The nerve damage makes the pain more intense and long-lasting.
What conditions cause chronic pain?
Chronic pain can have many causes. It could have been triggered by an illness or injury that has long since healed, but the pain continues. Pain may also be caused by an ongoing condition, such as arthritis or cancer. There are many individuals who suffer chronic pain without ever having been injured or sick in the past.
Here are some of the leading causes of chronic pain:
- Past injuries or surgeries
- Back problems
- Migraines and headaches
- Nerve damage
- Fibromyalgia is a condition in which people feel muscle pain throughout their bodies
Relieving chronic pain with an ultrasound machine
The first thing you would do if you were suffering from aches and pains in your body would be to reach for your pain medication. If these medications do not provide you with the relief you need, you will try other alternatives just to get rid of the pain.
When you go to a Physical Therapist’s office, you will see a lot of machines and equipment to help treat pain. Each of these machines uses a unique technology that helps to make patients feel better. One of these non-medical therapies is ultrasound physical therapy.
When you think of ultrasounds, you probably think of Doppler scans that are used to check pregnancies and identify health problems.
However, ultrasound can also be used in the treatment of medical conditions.
Chronic pain symptoms have been treated with therapeutic ultrasound since the 1930s without surgical procedures or medications.
The following symptoms can be alleviated through the help of an ultrasound therapy machine that you can use at home or in clinics:
- Neck pain
- Chronic back pain
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Bone breaks
- Painful bone cancer
- Nerve pain
- Pain because of non-cancerous tumors, or abnormal growths
- Tendonitis is a condition in which connective tissue between bones and muscles becomes inflamed
- An inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs in the joints is known as bursitis
Better understanding of ultrasound machines for physical therapy
When a person suffers from muscle spasms, joint pain, or tendonitis, an Ultrasound machine for physical therapy helps break down scar tissue, relax muscles, and reduce inflammation.
Through the ultrasound wand, the sound waves are delivered directly to the soft tissue. With these sound waves, blood flow increases which aid in healing and recovery.
As the sound waves from ultrasound therapy machines enter the soft tissues, the tissues would get a deep heat, which might make them feel better. It can also create minuscule gas bubbles that grow and shrink quickly. As these bubbles interact with solid objects they burst and create shockwaves. These shockwaves can break down kidney stones, making them easier to remove.
More benefits of ultrasound therapy
When you have scar tissue because of past injuries or surgery, it can cause pain and even restrict your movement. Breaking up tissues and deposits is one of the biggest benefits of ultrasound therapy machines. As we know ultrasound machines use high-frequency sound waves. These sound waves break the fibers of the scar tissue into smaller pieces. Treatments depend on how much scar tissue there is.
Ultrasound therapy may also be beneficial if you have chronic pain from a slow-healing injury or if your injury doesn’t respond to other treatments.
As a result of the increased blood flow, it promotes tissue regeneration and healing, loosens muscles, and increases oxygen and other important substances. Additionally, ultrasound heat can enhance flexibility.
Ultrasound warms the tissues of muscles, tendons, and ligaments and allows them to stretch more. With this extra stretch, joints are able to move more freely and become more flexible.
What are the limitations and side effects associated with ultrasound therapy?
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all treatment. An injury heals differently for each of us, and no two injuries are the same.
It should be noted, however, that ultrasound therapy may not work for everyone, but it can reduce pain, aid in the healing process, reduce scar tissue, and improve mobility in joints. Generally, ultrasound therapy does not cause any side effects.
There is a possibility that some patients would experience mild discomfort due to periosteal burns, which occur when the thin membrane around the bone becomes overheated. In this case, we would stop the ultrasound at the first sign of pain to avoid damage to the tissues and to avoid causing harm.
When should ultrasound therapy not be used?
As a passive therapy, ultrasound is low-risk, but it has limitations and should no’t be used on:
- Young children
- Pregnant women (chest, abdomen, or back)
- Open wounds
- Heart (especially if you have a pacemaker)
- Reproductive organs
- Cancerous areas
- Areas with decreased sensation