Anyone had luck treating injuries with portable ultra sound?

Discussion in 'Health, Nutrition, Injuries & Medical Conditions' started by theshortwhiteguy, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. theshortwhiteguy

    theshortwhiteguy Barefooters
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    I'm looking for a different therapy other than my PVC pipe to treat injuries like reoccurring PF and tendonitis. Since these portable units can be had for under $200, has anyone had luck with them?
     
  2. ElyDave

    ElyDave Barefooters
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    I've only had it administered by a trained PT, for an acute soft tissue injury. I can't think why a portable unit would be any less effective, but I think self administration would be the difficult bit as I remember her telling me that maintaining the contact between the gel and the U/S head was important. Her unit beeped every time you lost the contact.

    The theory from memory (it was along time ago now) was that it helps increase blood flow to the affected area and improve healing. With the restricted blood flow to tendons, I'm not sure how much help it would be in that case?
     
  3. Barefoot_AK

    Barefoot_AK Barefooters

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    In theory once you know what you are doing, setting up and applying an US treatment is quite easy. However, without any previous knowledge or proper education there is an inherent danger in what you are thinking of doing. Ultrasound therapy requires that you have great anatomical knowledge, education of physics, and the proper know-how for the actual machine you are using. Ultrasound is powerful enough to actually cook you from the inside out. There is also many many many contra-indications for the use of ultrasound. I wouldn't recommend this unless you know more than you are letting on. Not to mention the fact that ultrasound therapy is a therapeutic modality. Modalities should be used adjunct to something else and not just applying the ultrasound and doing nothing with it.
     
  4. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I'm using a Tens Unit right now on my feet, since after the surgeries, the PF is terrible. (I still walk in a way that puts more weight on the heels than the forefoot, naturally as it's painful to bear full weight over the balls of my feet.) Matt swears by it and has helped him a great deal with PF. This is only my second time using it, but I hope to see success with it too.

    You add these electrodes to your feet, ankles, plantar fascia, then you adjust the intensity and the pulse and the rate. The Tens Unit 3000 is only like $40, and you can buy it from Amazon. You don't really need a fancier unit, since this thing is pretty strong enough. Something to look into.
     
  5. Barefoot_AK

    Barefoot_AK Barefooters

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    I would follow TJ's suggestion. You can't do the harm to yourself with a TENS unit like you could do with an ultrasound unit. They are two totally different things besides the fact that they both are machines. Just remember though that the TENS doesn't heal anything, it just reduces pain! There is ways to use E-stim to reduce swelling/deliver medication/retard atrophy/re-educate muscle, but I am speaking in generalities of most people using TENS for pain control.
     
  6. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    How much does an ultrasound unit cost? They're expensive, right?
     
  7. Barefoot_AK

    Barefoot_AK Barefooters

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    A non-portable unit can hit in the $1k-3k range on average depending on what you want the machine to be able to do.
     
  8. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    That's expensive. What does a portable unit cost?
     
  9. PatrickGSR94

    PatrickGSR94 Barefooters
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    I think it may have been an ultrasound unit that the PT strapped to my leg back in December when I was having weird calf muscle pain. All I know is it didn't do jack-shite, and the issue cleared itself up several weeks later.
     
  10. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I had ultrasound for PF after the MN surgery, and it didn't work either. Supposedly, you'd have to own your own machine and use it ALL the time to be effective, and who has the money for that, and who has the insurance for that?
     
  11. Go_Blue

    Go_Blue Chapter Presidents
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    I had ultrasound therapy on my wrist last fall. Can't honestly say that it helped as the issue is still giving me a lot of trouble. Being a former performance horse trainer, I know folks who would use ultrasound on the horses with tendon/ligament issues, but always with mixed results.
     
  12. barefootn

    barefootn Barefooters
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    I used an ultrasound massager from amazon for a couple of months. It cost around $60. It made my achilles feel nice and warm. I found that hand lotion worked better than the gel they sell. After awhile I stopped using it and stopped trying to stretch out the tendon and it got better by itself. Anyway it didn't hurt and it felt good.
     
  13. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    $60 sounds cheap for what I thought they would cost.
     
  14. barefootn

    barefootn Barefooters
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    Ebay has them as cheap as $34.95. Search for "ultrasound massage" My unit is 1 megahertz. I wouldn't expect too much in the way of results.
    It does warm the soft tissue to about one half inch deep. The actual massage probably provides the relief.
    I would like to hear what others have found out.
     
  15. Barefoot_AK

    Barefoot_AK Barefooters

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    All ultrasound is designed to really do is heat deep tissues. Heat packs and warm whirlpools can only heat tissues that are very superficial. Ultrasound is not meant to do much else and isn't supposed to provide relief. Some people will discuss the potential theories that US will increase the laying down of collagen to facilitate healing or it's ability to massage away inflammation via acoustic streaming but most Clinicians use it for increased heat, and blood flow so that they can target local and specific muscles to prepare them for rehab,stretching, etc.
     
  16. theshortwhiteguy

    theshortwhiteguy Barefooters
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    Thanks for some of the enlightening responses.

    TJ - I'm not so sure about TENS, as it only provides stimulus and not stimulus plus blood flow.

    I have had ultra sound treatments, with some success, in an office setting in the past. My problem is for it to be more effective I have to have it several times day/week, which isn't possible. The portable unit I am looking at is around $100, and would allow me the flexibility to work on the problem areas 2-3 per day. It would be another tool just like massage, The Stick or my PVC pipe.
     
  17. Barefoot TJ

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    A couple of warnings about the TENS Unit. DO NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT, try to reposition the electrodes while the thing is turned on! Ouchie to the fingers! And DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT place the electrode over a boo-boo. My hubby dropped a bottle in the kitchen, I was lucky enough to step on it, it cut me, which I had to dig out, then the next day, I put on the electrode over that boo-boo. Talk about One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest!
     
  18. theshortwhiteguy

    theshortwhiteguy Barefooters
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    What? You mean I can't turn on the unit and say "here kids, hold this for me"?
     
  19. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    You could, but then they would hate you.

    My hubby returned a child-proof gate to the store. When the store clerk asked him what was wrong with it, he said ,"It's plastic. I can't apply electricity to it." He said you could have felt the loathing coming from the people standing in line behind him.
     
  20. Neil_D

    Neil_D Chapter Presidents
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    Hi there,
    I bought a US Pro 2000 around 6 months ago and have been using it to sort out an ankle tendon injury I sustained while in the UK and then overstretching. It cost me around $130 including postage. A great little tool to help with injuries. There is no problem with using them, mine has 3 output power ranges with 4.8W being the highest.
    As has been mentioned the ultrasound waves penetrate deeper into the tissues than the warmth from heatpacks. The only care you need to take is not holding it in one spot or on bony surfaces as the waves will reflect off the harder tissues and cause hotspots (which you will feel like a dull ache).
    It's hard to say if and by how much it helped my rehabilitation as I would need a twin of myself that had the same injury and didn't use ultrasound.
    Over the years I have learned to treat my own injuries rather than see sports docs, it is better to be empowered rather than rely on others as usually it is only repeated business that these people are interested in.

    Neil
     

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