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Ultrasound For Back Relief

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Updated February 25, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition:

Ultrasound is a physical therapy modality used to help soft tissue such as your back muscles to deeply relax and to heal at the cellular level.  Ultrasound works by transmitting sound waves into your soft tissues.  Legally, it can only be administered by a licensed medical provider, or their assistant.  

When you get an ultrasound, you’ll lie on your stomach and the therapist or assistant will slowly roll the flat side of a device that looks like one end of a phone receiver over the sore area of your neck or back. The person giving you the ultrasound will first apply some gel over the area, to allow the ultrasound device to move, and to help conduct the sound waves into your soft tissue.

Ultrasound may help relieve short-term neck or back pain due to muscle strain or spasm.  If you’ve had surgery or other invasive medical procedure recently, or you have any cancerous tumors, having an ultrasound is not recommended.

Examples:
An ultrasound is a physical therapy modality that may help you relax muscles or otherwise heal your soft tissue.
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