Ultrasound has many uses. It is used for all kinds of diagnostic imaging and medically analytical purposes. It is also used therapeutically in a number of different ways. One of these ways is in treating adhesions. Let’s take a closer look at this topic.
What is Ultrasound?
Ultrasound is the use of high frequency sound waves for a variety of purposes. One of the most common uses, as mentioned above, is in creating images. This is also known as sonography. Ultrasound imaging devices send these very high frequency sonic waves (well above the range of human hearing) at a patient’s body. The waves bounce off in what is essentially an echo. The ultrasound equipment receives this echo and from this collects information about the area of the person’s body being imaged. This data is turned into an image. Often this is a real time moving image that can be viewed on a monitor.
The other major area of ultrasound is for therapeutic purposes. Sound waves sent at the body penetrate it and have various effects on tissues. The effects that ultrasound waves have can be classed into what are known as thermal and non-thermal effects. Thermal effects of the waves change the temperature of tissues (which is caused by absorption of the waves mainly by soft tissue) and non-thermal effects are mechanical processes produced by sound waves. One such non-thermal effect is cavitation – the formation of bubbles that appear to stimulate cell regeneration and repair.
What is an Adhesion?
An adhesion can be defined as the formation of internal scar tissue. Surgical procedures may involve cutting and slicing tissue. Just as when external tissue is cut or damaged, scar tissue can form internally after surgery is done. Often this scar tissue forms across some kind of space or cavity between two organs. This is known as an adhesion. Often adhesions pose no problems, but in some cases they can result in organs or tissues being twisted or displaced. In such cases treatment is required to remove or the adhesion so that normal organ or tissue placement can be restored.
How can Ultrasound Treat Adhesions?
Ultrasound, due to the effects mentioned above, can be a very effective treatment of adhesions. The sound waves tend to break up the scar tissue as well stimulate cell regeneration. The mechanical action of the sound waves massages and vibrates the area, causing adhesions to dissolve and be absorbed by the body. Ultrasound also stimulates blood flow to the area which assists in the process.
Advantages of Ultrasound over Other Treatments
There are many advantages that ultrasound has over other types of treatments. For one thing, it is non-invasive. Prior to ultrasound, treatment for an adhesion might have involved further surgery. This is traumatic for the body and could even create further adhesions. Surgery is also time consuming, expensive, and uses up hospital resources.
Various drugs and medicines used as a means of dealing with adhesions are also problematic in a number of ways. It may be hard to judge their efficacy, they can have undesirable side effects, and they are expensive.
Ultrasound gets past all of these problems. It tends to be a quick and painless procedure, does not require any surgical activity, and is quite effective. Though there are a few concerns as to the complete safety of ultrasound, especially in prenatal uses, on the whole ultrasound is very safe and is a natural way of stimulating the body’s regenerative processes.
Where to find Ultrasound Treatment
You can generally find ultrasound treatment for adhesions anywhere that doctors practice ultrasound. This may be private practices, clinics, or hospitals. Check the internet, look in the phone book, or search the internet for these kinds of practitioners. You can also ask your ordinary general practitioner for information on this kind of treatment.