Ah, yes, just when you thought it was safe to blast your fetus with ultrasonic home-movie magic, we are reminded that some people use (differently-tuned) ultrasound for more than just pretty pictures. In fact, at some frequencies, ultrasound may actually be therapeutic. We’re not talking about drug delivery devices using ultrasound (blogged previously 1,2), but rather waves doing good, by themselves. Here’s the scoop on a new trial of ultrasound for back pain:
The volunteers will receive advice on managing their pain and either eight sessions of therapeutic ultrasound (TU) or eight sessions of sham TU. They will also be assessed for pain, disability and general health before the trial, immediately after the trial and again six months later.
“The pain caused by inflammation of lumbar nerve roots could potentially be reduced with the application of TU, a form of electrotherapy commonly used by physiotherapists to accelerate the resolution of the inflammatory process in a multitude of soft-tissue injuries. The study aims to address the unanswered question of whether TU is effective in reducing pain and disability in patients with lower back pain caused by sciatica.
We predict that patients will benefit — even in the sham ultrasound group. Such is the power of healing waves.
More from the University of Manchester’s Centre for Rehabilitation Science