Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electrostimulators and ultrasound machines for healing

  1. Oct 30, 2005 #1


    User Avatar

    I heard something about electrostimulators and ultrasound thingys that athletes can use over their sprains and alike that will help them heal faster. Sounds like quackery to me, but what is it about?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 1, 2005 #2

    Ultrasound units are used to a limited extent in the physical therapy field as a treatment for sprains (not the kind of ultrasound the OB uses). The ultrasound uses sound waves which are conveyed from the skin to the surrounding tissues which causes tissue warming. The warming results in two basic vasodilation and tissue relaxation. Also, depending on the frequency of the sound waves, it is possible to decrease swelling.

    If you would like to read into this, I can suggest good research articles on the subject.
  4. Nov 1, 2005 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I had electrostimulation therapy done on a severely sprained ankle that I got about a year ago. This was done as part of the physical therapy regimen that my sports medicine doc set me up with. Therapy began after the initial "healing" process, when a majority of the swelling was gone, but I was left with limited mobility and muscle strength. In combination with ice/heat therapy and stretching exercises, the electrostimulation is used to bring the muscle groups surrounding the injured area back into condition following the period of disuse. This method of electrically stimulating the muscle to contract will work the muscle gently (depending on stimulation intensity) and will not put unnecessary pressure on the joint while it is still recovering. It was an interesting sensation, I could really feel it tensing and releasing the muscles. I didn't go to as many therapy sessions as suggested because it was just way too expensive, and my ankle is fine (not 100%, but I can run on it). However, I can see how such a treatment would be beneficial to a faster, safer recovery.

    The ultrasound, as cbass69187 puts it, is more on the heat-generation side of recovery which aids in increased circulation/oxygenation and all the benefits of that.
  5. Nov 2, 2005 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Hi all,

    I worked with a TENS manufacturer and I'm a PT.
    Actually US (ulstrasound) is out. Studies have shown that efficiency is coming more from placebo than units.
    ESTIM (electrical stimulation) used to develop muscle mass is a myth. There is no muscle increase without effort.

    But it was used in conjunction of high loading for sprinters. All said that it was like hell!
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Electrostimulators and ultrasound machines for healing