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About Ultrasound…And Why We Don’t Use It

Therapeutic ultrasound has been around for a long time (it was invented in the 1950s by Frank and William Fry). And therapists of all types have been using it ever since.

So how can it be that we (PT Professionals) have decided to NOT use it??

Here are the reasons why we do not use ultrasound:

1. The Scientific Research Does Not Show a Significant Therapeutic Benefit

The research speaks for itself.

Here are 3 studies that found “therapeutic ultrasound is not clinically beneficial”:

  • Van Den Bekerom, M. P., et al. “Therapeutic ultrasound for acute ankle sprains.” European journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine 48.2 (2012): 325.
  • Swain, Michael, and Nicholas Henschke. “Therapeutic ultrasound is not clinically beneficial for acute ankle sprains.” British journal of sports medicine 46.4 (2012): 241-242.
  • Verhagen, Evert ALM. “What Does Therapeutic Ultrasound Add to Recovery From Acute Ankle Sprain? A Review.” Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine 23.1 (2013): 84-85.

Even if it did have some therapeutic benefit –

2. There Are More Effective and Efficient Uses of Your Time

When you are in our clinic, we have a limited amount of time to give you the maximum benefit.

So it’s up to us to make very wise use of your time with us.

Keeping this as a priority – we have found that other treatment options (like manual therapy and tissue specific therapeutic exercises) are much more effective.

And that’s what we choose to focus on with our patients – only the most effective therapy options.

Bottom line: Ultrasound doesn’t qualify as a treatment we use with our patients.

About 

David Berman is a nationally recognized and highly sought after expert and educator in outpatient physical therapy. He currently practices in Arvada, CO.