As you already know, ultrasound therapy can be a valuable tool for your practice.
Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of ultrasound in treating pain, inflammation, swelling, and stiffness. Ultrasound can also increase blood flow and speed wound healing. It can often be used in conjunction with spinal manipulation in order to enhance chiropractic adjustments.
In most cases, ultrasound devices are handheld, wherein you press it against the injured area of the patient’s body for a certain amount of time (most manufacturers recommend anywhere from eight to 10 minutes), depending upon the area to be treated and the amount of healing that is required.
One of the more recent advances in ultrasound device technology is hands-free devices, which do not require the DC to remain in contact with the patient for the ultrasound treatment. What are some of the advantages these hands-free ultrasound devices might have over traditional handheld devices?
Consistent treatment levels
One of the major disadvantages with handheld ultrasound devices is that it can be difficult for the DC to maintain consistent treatment levels for the required eight to 10 minutes. Doing so requires pressing the device against the affected area using the same amount of pressure for the entire time while simultaneously moving the device head around. This may not only result in inconsistent treatment levels but can also require extra effort on the part of the DC.
Hands-free devices solve both of these problems by the ability to deliver consistent pressure through a combination of being set in a fixed location on the patient’s body and using weights to provide the needed constant pressure. The DC does not need to constantly monitor how much pressure they are applying or always be moving the head around.
Larger surface area
One of the other reasons that the handheld device must be constantly moved around is in order to cover a large surface area such as the width of the entire lower back. In addition to requiring more effort on your part, it may also reduce effectiveness because the entire area cannot be treated at the same time.
Hands-free ultrasound devices have larger surface pads, so they are ideal for treating larger areas of the body at the same time. This means that the treatment time is spent as efficiently as possible in providing care to the entire body area at one time.
Saving DC time
With a standard handheld ultrasound device, you are required to be present for the entire treatment time. If you use a hands-free device, you can position the treatment head, set the device, and then leave the room for the allotted treatment time. This allows you the flexibility to check in on another patient or catch up on paperwork.
While eight to 10 minutes may not seem like a great deal, it can add up if you are using the device on more than one patient. Furthermore, because these devices are often mounted on wheeled platforms, they can be moved from room to room, making them even more convenient.
Handheld ultrasound devices are certainly still useful for tight areas such as the ankles, feet, or behind the knees. However, a hands-free device could very well be a great addition to your practice to provide you with better treatment options, outcomes, and flexibility.