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Therapeutic Ultrasound

Along with diagnostic ultrasound and prenatal imaging, therapeutic ultrasound is a subset of ultrasound. It is used to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal disorders such as pain, tissue injury, and muscle spasms.

When many of us hear the word ‘ultrasound,’ we start to think about prenatal testing and its ability to render incredible images from inside the womb. However, as impressive as it is, that application is a diagnostic one, and therapeutic ultrasound is a treatment tool.

Physiotherapists widely use therapeutic ultrasound as part of a diverse range of treatment plans designed to aid recovery, ease symptoms, and prevent recurrences of a myriad of injuries and conditions in many different patients.

Physiotherapy in Coquitlam and Port Moody: What are the Benefits of Ultrasound Therapy?

Ultrasound therapy is a go-to option for many physiotherapists when treating a broad range of different conditions, and it’s often used in conjunction with other forms of therapy. That could extend to manual therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, or even active rehab.

Physiotherapists turn to therapeutic ultrasound because it offers many unique advantages, including:

Therapeutic ultrasound is typically painless, and it’s a very easy treatment to apply. Patients require no sedation or anesthetic and no pain relief post-treatment.

  • Therapeutic ultrasound has no known side effects.
  • Ultrasound therapy helps to alleviate pain.
  • Ultrasound therapy is entirely non-invasive.
  • Therapeutic ultrasound can boost healing rates.
  • It also helps with tissue relaxation
  • Ultrasound can help physiotherapists deal with and break down scar tissue

How will my physiotherapist use Therapeutic Ultrasound?

Therapeutic ultrasound is one of the most popular forms of treatment for both chronic pain and the promotion of healing. Physiotherapists have several goals when they develop treatment plans, and getting you back to normal as quickly as possible is one of those.

Because it’s such a versatile treatment, your Coquitlam physiotherapist may recommend it as part of your tailored plan if you suffer from conditions like:


When it comes to applying therapeutic ultrasound, your physiotherapist can turn to a couple of different methods. The one they choose may be influenced by a range of factors, such as your condition, level of pain, and even treatment preferences:

Deep Heating

This is when your Coquitlam physiotherapist therapist uses therapeutic ultrasound to induce deep heating within your soft tissues. The method increases blood circulation, which can reduce inflammation and promote faster healing. Heat is also a great natural cure for pain and makes soft tissues more flexible, so it also helps with the promotion of mobility. For those reasons and more, deep heating is a very effective, widely used treatment.


This form of ultrasound therapy is when your Coquitlam physio uses ultrasound energy in order to promote rapid contraction and expansion of microscopic gas bubbles. That process is known as cavitation, and this treatment is typically applied around areas of injured tissue. Cavitation speeds up the healing process, and your therapist might opt for this form of treatment if you’re in less pain but still have an existing injury.

Therapeutic Ultrasound in Coquitlam and Port Moody: What can I expect?

When you book an appointment online at either of our clinics in Coquitlam or Port Moody, your physiotherapist will first perform a detailed assessment of your condition and then work on a tailored treatment plan.

If part of that plan involves a therapeutic ultrasound session, the physio will begin by applying a special conductive gel to the body part they’re working on. Then, they’ll slowly move the hand-held component, known as a transducer, back and forth along the skin of the affected body part.

Depending on your specific condition, the physiotherapist will adjust equipment settings that manipulate the depth of penetration of ultrasound waves.

Ultrasound therapy isn’t a long or laborious treatment, and sessions typically only last around 5 to 10 minutes. It’s rare for a physiotherapist to use this treatment more than once on a single day or visit the clinic.

Your Port Moody or Coquitlam physiotherapist will never use therapeutic ultrasound where it could prove harmful such as when you’re pregnant, over open wounds after a medical procedure or in the vicinity of a pacemaker or similar device.

Physiotherapy in Port Moody and Coquitlam: How effective is therapeutic ultrasound?

Therapeutic ultrasound is a very convenient, versatile treatment that’s extremely popular with many patients. It’s beneficial for so many conditions that you may experience a session or two during your own treatment plan, so it’s helpful to know what it is and how it works.

The treatment has been used for many decades by generations of Canadian physiotherapists, which is one of the many reasons it’s a trusted, go-to solution for a broad range of physical problems.