Back Pain Treatment: Ultrasound
Ultrasound may be a viable safe and effective treatment for degenerative disc disease. Ultrasound is a treatment that is often used by physical therapists and chiropractors, either alone or before and after spinal manipulations, massage, and back pain exercises. The benefits of ultrasound therapy are similar to other types of hot treatments for back pain, in that the heat delivered to the muscles and soft tissues relaxes muscles and improves circulation, to stimulate the healing process. Unlike other types of ultrasound studies that are used as diagnostic procedures to see what's going on inside the body, ultrasound as a therapy is used to deliver a soothing heat to sore and painful muscles and tissues. Unlike heat therapy techniques like heating blankets and bottles, ultrasound therapy goes deeper into the muscles and tissues.
Ultrasound therapy for back pain creates heat and energy - through high-frequency, inaudible sound waves that the body absorbs into the deep muscles and muscle groups, and deep into the tissues. The benefits of ultrasound therapy generally involve a temporary pain relief, it is not designed to correct the underlying problem causing your back pain. If you used ultrasound treatment alone to manage your problem, you would probably have to return for treatments frequently.
Ultrasound treatment is only available at clinics with clinicians trained to do this specialized procedure, there are no models available for home use. For that reasons, regular treatment sessions using this treatment modality may be expensive, especially if your insurance does not reimburse you for this procedure. If money is a factor for you, try to get the most out of your treatment sessions, and use the temporary relief that you experience from ultrasound to get into or continue an exercise program with less physical limitations and pain. If the back exercises that you are now able to do without as much pain, because of the ultrasound, is effective at treating your underlying problem, then the ultrasound sessions will be required less often, and you will save money and be able to find a lasting effective treatment for your back.
Doctors, aware of ultrasound as a temporary treatment for back pain, are likely to prescribe it when a patient is in severe pain or when a patient's symptoms hinder their ability to do normal everyday activities. Ultrasound is not usually recommended for acute back pain or when the patient's symptoms include inflammation. The heat delivered from the ultrasound, may actually make inflammation worse.
Degenerative disc disease is one of the most frequent causes of back pain, and may even begin to affect young adults in their 20s and 30s. The good news is that there are a lot of treatments for this problem that have been proven over long periods of time, and don't involve surgery. For flare-ups of disc disease symptoms, ultrasound can be used to deliver a warm heat to superficial and deep muscles affected by the damaged discs and affected nerves. As certain areas are warmed, the muscles that are tight or in spasm may loosen, and circulation may be increased to the area, facilitating the healing process.