Ultrasound therapy has been used since the 1940s to increase tissue relaxation, blood flow, and the breakdown of scar tissue. By increasing blood flow and breaking down scare tissue, the body can naturally work on reducing swelling in areas of chronic inflammation and pain. This treatment should not be confused with “diagnostic ultrasound,” which is, basically, the use of ultrasound to see inside a person’s body. Instead, doctors use ultrasound therapy to heat up the soft tissue structures inside the body to increase circulation in tendons, muscles, and ligaments. This process has been found to decrease pain in many patients dealing with muscle pain or injuries to any soft tissues.
For example, in shoulder pain or frozen shoulder, ultrasound therapy works to heat up the damaged tissue as a way of improving the range of motion in the shoulder area. The same this works in knee, arms, neck, and back issues where the muscles and other tissues restrict motion.