3 Things to Remember About Ultrasound Imaging For Physical Therapy

When they hear about the term ultrasound, most people immediately think about a pregnant woman lying on a bed in the doctor’s office while viewing a screen with a baby growing in the womb. An ultrasound is a diagnostic tool that health providers have used for decades to monitor the fetus’s development and health. Still, orthopedic doctors and physical therapists also use New York City ultrasound imaging to view the components of the musculoskeletal system, including joints, tendons, ligaments, and bones.

Subsequently, below are a few things you need to remember about ultrasound imaging in diagnosing and treating physical injuries.

1. Injuries that may require ultrasound diagnosis

Your musculoskeletal system consists of bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and soft tissues, which function together to support the weight of your body and assist you in moving normally.

However, due to aging that causes wear and tear or an injury, especially if you are physically active, a weekend warrior, or a professional athlete, it is possible to damage a component of your musculoskeletal system.

Often, you may damage the bones, tendons, or muscles in your legs, shoulder, elbow, or hip.

Your physical therapist can use ultrasound imaging to diagnose and treat numerous orthopedic problems and sports injuries, including tendonitis, joint tightness, ligament injuries, sprains, strains, muscle tears,

For instance, also called bursa inflammation, bursitis is a painful condition affecting the tiny, fluid-filled sacs called bursae, which cushion your joints. On the other hand, when you have a frozen shoulder, you have thicker and tighter connective tissues that cover the shoulder joint.

2. How ultrasound imaging works

An ultrasound scan, or sonography, is an imaging technology that works similarly to radar and sonar.

Sonar and radar are popular in the military field to conduct activities critical to missions, including tracking aircraft and missiles, navigating ships and planes, and locating the positions of submarines and ships.

Before beginning an ultrasound scan, your physical therapist will apply a gel on the skin area affected by a sports injury or orthopedic problem.

Your physical therapist will then pass a device called a probe or transducer over the affected part of the body. The gel on the skin promotes the transmission of ultrasound waves into the body.

The transmitted sound waves capture live images of the inside of your body.

3. Benefits of ultrasound

Unlike other diagnostic imaging technologies such as x-rays and CT scans, sonography does not expose you to ionizing radiation. X-ray scans and CT scans rely on radiation to capture and generate images of the structure of your body.

The sound waves that an ultrasound device exposes you to have no known risks because they are usually low-power and safe.

However, remember that ultrasound imaging may not be suitable in some situations since it may not capture the images of internal body structures concealed by bone or with gas (air).  

Also, ultrasound waves may not be powerful enough to reach internal structures deep inside your body. Thus, CT, MRI, or x-ray scans may be more useful.

Contact NYPT Health & Rehab today to schedule an appointment with a specialist in ultrasound scans and treatment of orthopedic conditions.