Sports Medicine is the care and prevention of athletic injuries. These injuries do not actually have to be an athletic injury, but an injury relating to overuse injuries, such as tendonistis, and acute injuries like an ankle sprain. A large number of patients are usually semi-active adults and children, weekend warriors, industrial athletes or even those who are not physically active but have orthodedic issues.
Besides soft tissue manipulation, Ultrasound and Electrical Muscle Stimulation are used as modalites to help the healing process and reduce pain and swelling much faster.
Ultrasound is a therapeutic modality that has been used by physical therapists since the 1940s. The waves are generated by a piezoelectric effect caused by the vibration of crystals within the head of the wand/probe. The sound waves that pass throughthe skin cause a vibration of the local tissues. The vibration can cause a deep heating that feels very soothing. In situations when heat is not desired, ultrasound may be pulsed to prevent heat. It has shown to cause increases in tissue relaxation, local blood flow, and scar tissue breakdown.
Ultrasound can also be used to achieve phonophoresis. This is a non-invasive way of administering medications to tissue below the skin; perfect for patients who are uncomfortable with injections. With this technique, the ultrasonic energy forces the medication through the skin. Cortisone is one of the more commonly used substances delivered in this way.
A typical ultrasound treatment will take 5-8 minutes depending on the size of the area being treated.
Ultrasound reduces stiffness and spasms, an increase in flexibility of tendon and joint capsules, and decreased pain. Helps to increase tissue regeneration, collagen synthesis, an increase in blood flow, and a reduction of edema, an excess of fluid which causes swelling.
Electrical Muscle Stimulation is another effective modality to help control pain and muscle contractions, reduce swelling and pain. When applied to tissue, electric currents create thermal, physiologic, and chemical responses. The currents also alter pain impulses. Interferential stimulation is the most commonly used form of EMS. Two channels of elctrical stimulation create a third current that penetrates the affected tissues with little resistance.