After being involved in an accident that injured your neck muscles, you may have been seeking chiropractic care to help ease the pain and help the area heal. As part of your treatment, ultrasound therapy may have been suggested, and you may be on the fence about trying it. If so, consider some of the benefits of having ultrasound treatments as part of your plan of care.
1. Relieves Muscle Spasms
One benefit of having ultrasound treatments on your injured neck muscles is that it helps to relieve the muscle spasms which may be plaguing you after you get up in the morning or try to complete certain tasks. When your muscles are recovering from an injury, they tighten up and sometimes go into spasms as the fibers become irritated or strained.
When ultrasound is used on the muscles, the focused heat penetrates deep into the muscle fibers, helping them to relax and stretch. As they loosen, the muscles elongate and start to remove the knots and tensions within the fibers.
This benefit also works in conjunction with other forms of therapy, whether done beforehand or afterward. When done before an adjustment, the relaxed muscles allow the spine to move more. And, after physical therapy exercises, the ultrasound relaxes and relieves any additional tension caused by the extra movement.
2. Increases Circulation to the Injured Muscles
Along with relaxing the taut muscle fibers, ultrasound therapy also helps to increase circulation to the muscles. When the muscles are tight, the blood vessels within them are partially occluded, which decreases the flow of nutrients to the muscles. This restriction also prevents the carrying away of lactic acid and other byproducts of muscle movement that can further irritate injured tissue.
Because the heat from the ultrasound relaxes the muscles, the occluded blood vessels start opening up. This helps to increase the circulation within the muscles. As a result, you may feel less pain after exercise because the irritants are being removed from the muscles more efficiently. This then decreases inflammation and discomfort.
And since the blood also carries in it white blood cells and platelets essential to healing, the increase in circulation helps supply your injured muscles with what it needs. This can then help speed up the recovery process because the body is better able to repair the damage.
Once you have discovered the benefits of ultrasound therapy, you may decide that you would like to try it along with your other treatments. If so, speak with your chiropractor to see about adding it to your visits.