Ultrasound therapy is often performed as a pain treatment. Ultrasound therapy can be used in two ways: thermally, as a heat agent, and mechanically, as a vibration agent. Dr. Rich may choose one or both ultrasound approaches, depending on your chronic pain condition. Ultrasound therapy for chronic pain is not usually used as the sole therapy but is considered a useful adjunct for some forms of chronic pain.
Ultrasonic diathermy is intended to generate deep heat within body tissues for the treatment of selected medical conditions such as pain, muscle spasms and joint contractures, but not for the treatment of malignancies.
The sound waves are transmitted through a round-headed wand that the therapist applies to the skin with gentle, circular movements. A hypo-allergenic gel aids in the transmission of the ultrasonic energy and prevents overheating at the surface of the applicator.
Treatments usually last between five and 10 minutes.
source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration