What is Ultrasound?
Ultrasonography is an imaging modality that uses high frequency sound waves, which normally cannot be heard by human beings, to visualize internal structures of the body. “Ultrasound travels as sound waves, and images are generated when pulses of ultrasound from the transducer produce echoes at tissue or organ boundaries. Between pulse transmissions, the transducer serves as a detector of echoes, which are processed to form an anatomic image.” The waves are recorded and made into images, allowing us to visualize structures such as tendons, muscles, ligaments, and more. “Interpretation of the ultrasound images depends on the echogenicity: the brightness of the image, depending on the degree of reflection in the ultrasound waves. The images are also described in terms of the plane on which the sonogram is viewed, which is usually longitudinal or transverse in relation to the structure scanned.”
The benefits of using Ultrasound in treating chronic pain
Ultrasound is attractive to patients because of its safety! It is non-invasive, painless, convenient, cost-effective, and free of radiation! Other benefits include:
Potential to show documented improvement in soft tissue injuries and track patient objective outcomes from Prolotherapy treatments utilizing before and after images.
Documents musculoskeletal pathology. Studies suggest that ultrasound is the primary imaging technique for soft tissue injuries which include, shoulder injury, knee pain, ankle sprain, hip pain, wrist and elbow injury/pain.
Ultrasound can be performed during motion. Unlike an MRI, ultrasound can be performed on a patient while joints are in motion. In cases of shoulder impingement, for example, a patient may only have pain with certain motions and none at rest. Ultrasound can help visualize what happens with the tissue during motion. “The main advantages are its ability to perform dynamic examinations and to conduct side-to-side comparisons on the spot, allowing clinicians to correlate their patients’ symptoms directly with anatomic visualization.” No ionizing radiation and totally safe non invasive procedure. Such diagnoses are not possible or are difficult with an X-ray or routine MRI.”