Ultrasound is high-pitched sound that people cannot hear. These high-pitched sound waves are sometimes used to treat muscle spasms and pain and to promote healing.
Ultrasound at higher intensities creates a deep heat. This heat may help to ease muscle spasms, relax and warm muscles, and increase muscle elasticity before stretching and exercise.
Ultrasound may also act on the cells to promote healing. At lower intensities, ultrasound can have this healing effect without also heating the tissues.
Excessive use of either the heating or non-heating properties of ultrasound can damage tissues. Ultrasound is not typically used for children.
Current as of: March 21, 2017
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Joan Rigg, PT, OCS - Physical Therapy
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Donations to UW Health are managed by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a publicly supported charitable organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.