Using Therapeutic Home Ultrasound to Treat ARTHRITIS
Ultrasound devices can decrease your arthritis pain!
Arthritis pain effects approximately 50% of adults aged 65 and older. Joints that were once well lubricated and that absorbed shock and strain efficiently become worn down over a lifetime of use or degenerate because of disease, which causes significant pain. In many cases, Arthritis pain is so severe that it renders sufferers mentally and physically crippled.
In addition to causing chronic, life-altering pain, Arthritis reduces function in the joints it affects. While any joint can become arthritic, it is the joints that are most often used that are most susceptible – for example, knees, elbows, and numerous joints in the hands. So, as a result of Arthritis, joints used constantly during routine daily tasks become less useable, pain becomes more intense, and quality of life continues to be reduced – this is a major problem.
As we age, our once lubricated joints can become less efficient at absorbing shocks and protecting our bones. This condition, known as arthritis, can be both mentally and physically crippling and affects approximately 50% of adults 65 years and older.
Arthritis can significantly reduce a person’s quality of life because it commonly affects joints, such as the knees, hands and elbows, which are vital for daily functioning.
In light of this, several questions arise: (1) What is Arthritis? (2) What Causes Arthritis? And, (3) What treatment options are most practical and effective?
What is Arthritis?
Ultrasound treatment for pain relief
‘Arthritis’ is a broad term used to refer to more than one hundred different rheumatic diseases and conditions. In every case, there is inflammation of a joint accompanied by pain, swelling, and stiffness. The possible causes of arthritic conditions can be many. Some examples of causes are: infection (e.g. gonococcal, tuberculous, pneumococcal, etc.); trauma; degenerative changes (e.g. osteoarthritis, hypertrophic arthritis, senescent arthritis); metabolic disturbances; autoimmune disorders (e.g. lupus erythematous); and many others.While Arthritis can occur in various forms two of the most common are: Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of Arthritis. It is most commonly present among older populations and currently affects over 20 million Americans.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder – it is considered a chronic disease and patients with rheumatoid arthritis develop chronic arthritis pain.
What Causes Authritis?
Arthritic joint pain occurs when synovial fluid, the lubricant present in the joints and cartilage, is depleted. Because this fluid acts as a shock absorber and ensures that the ends of our bones are protected, when it is no longer present bones begin to grind against each other, which eventually causes significant pain in our joints.
There are many possible causes of arthritis. They include: overuse; basic wear and tear; pseudogout; infections; autoimmune disorders; bone diseases or fractures; and, bone tumors (and other kinds of cancer) to mention only a few. In addition, arthritic conditions are easily exacerbated by medications, such as penicillin, and even the common cold or flu.
What Treatment Options are available?
While Arthritis is a chronic condition – meaning, there is no known cure. There are, however, treatments available for inflamed, arthritic joints that really work and help sufferers manage pain enabling them to lead normal, healthy lives.
Most often, a doctor, chiropractor or physical therapist will prescribe a pain management program comprised of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or, NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (e.g. Advil, Motrin) and a host of other pharmaceuticals to treat an injured joint. The aim of these medications is to reduce the pain and inflammation of sore, arthritic joints. However, they are associated with a number of undesirable side effects such as drowsiness, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, and rash. To make matters worse, people who take pain management medications and experience the adverse side effects that come along with them do not anticipate any improvement at all for their condition; anti-inflammatory drugs do not heal joints, they only mask Arthritis pain.
If a barrage of pharmaceuticals is the most commonly prescribed course of action to manage the inflammation that causes Arthritis pain but not the only option, then what other alternatives are there?
Medical practitioners recognize that arthritic joints are aggravated and inflamed by regular use. So, as an alternative to a pharmaceutical program some doctors recommend various kinds of splints and braces that limit the mobility of the joint, which allows the joint to rest. In addition to these non-invasive options, there is another popular and effective treatment option: ultrasound therapy for Arthritis.
Why Ultrasound for Arthritis?
Ultrasound Therapy has several distinct advantages over pharmaceutical and other manual treatment options: (1) Whereas pharmaceuticals are a constant cost, a home ultrasound machine once purchased once works long-term with no recurring cost; (2) Ultrasound Therapy for Arthritis has no negative side-effects as do pharmaceuticals; (3) Ultrasound Therapy for Arthritis relieves inflammation in joints without hindering their mobility, so, joints remain useable; and, (4) If a home ultrasound machine is purchased, then treatment is both convenient and private.Ultrasound Therapy for Arthritis is very effective when used in conjunction with other non-invasive methods. For example, patients with pain due to inflammation of various kinds are often told to RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate). This procedure on its own can be very useful for managing arthritis pain but becomes much more effective when paired with ultrasound treatment for Arthritis prior to RICE since the ultrasonic waves efficiently decrease inflammation and relive pain.
Ultrasound treatment for Arthritis stimulates increased blood flow to affected joints. Due to their design, joints have limited blood flow – as a result, they recover from arthritis flare-ups very slowly. Unfortunately, slow recovery is not the only problem associated with limited blood flow. Because of comparatively poor circulation waste matter can build up in joints causing extreme pain to arthritis sufferers. Fortunately, both of these problems are helped by the use of ultrasound treatment to increase circulation to the affected areas simultaneously working to heal the joint and flushing toxins and waste matter from the joints. A home ultrasound machine affords sufferers all of these benefits and saves them the hassle and expense of regular clinic visits.
In a study by Casimiro et al, 2002 investigating the use of therapeutic ultrasound for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), it was found that continuous ultrasound benefits grip strength when applied to the hands of RA sufferers. Because of ultrasound’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, it is one of the most prescribed modalities for arthritis by qualified health care professionals.
In two randomized trials, it was proven that continuous ultrasound applied to the hand increased grip strength and wrist dorsal flexion, as well as decreased morning stiffness and the number of swollen painful joints as compared with placebo.
The URICE Method
Ultrasound, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate
Follow this daily pain management regimen for new injuries and you’ll be well on your way to a happier, pain-free life:
Step 1: Ultrasound (10-15 min)
Use one of our home ultrasound machines to treat the affected area 10-15 minutes daily. To find out more about how ultrasound therapy works, visit our F.A.Q.’s page.
(*Note: Allow your tissues to return to normal temperature with 30-60 minutes intervals between ultrasound & ice/ heat therapies.)
Step 2: Rest (often)
As much as you may hate sitting still, for new injuries, you must sit & lie down as much as possible. Even with old injuries or aches and pains that you’re trying to rehab, you need to allow your body to rest.
It is during these times of rest that your body is hardest at work repairing itself. Sometimes the best thing for your injury is doing nothing. So let you body’s natural healing process take over and “give it a rest.”
Step 3: Ice & Compress (10-20 min)
Ice Therapy. Chill your hot/ cold pack and apply for 10-20 minutes, once or twice a day, to reduce local swelling and pain of new injuries.
Compression Therapy. Simply wrap an ace bandage or cloth firmly around the ice pack to keep it in place & compress the injury. Compression helps prevents further swelling & damage from occurring.
Step 4: Elevate (often)
When sitting or lying down, you should try to elveate your injury above heart level, if possible. The elevation helps reduce and prevent further swelling. Raise the affected limb as often as possible.
In total, treating with ultrasound & cold therapy will take you only 20-35 minutes a day. So next time you’re sitting down to watch a TV show, break out your home ultrasound machine & hot/ cold pack and heal that injury while relaxing at home!
Home Ultrasound Machines:
Remember, the lower the frequency
(ex. 1Mhz), the longer the ultrasound
wave & the DEEPER it penetrates!
A home ultrasound unit works the same way as bigger machines, found in physical therapist and chiropractor practices, but is more compact and priced reasonably so home users can afford to purchase. Portable ultrasound machines are also safe for use by the general public because they utilize pulsed, instead of continuous, ultrasound waves, which are just as effective when used on a daily basis. Arthritis physical therapy involving ultrasound will provide users with immediate relief and continual healing over a 3-4 week period.
Because arthritis involves joint and bone inflammation, a specific kind of home ultrasound machine is required for treatment. A home ultrasound physical therapy machine should emit 1Mhz ultrasound waves. It is also important to purchase an FDA approved ultrasound unit that is quality manufactured. The portable therapeutic ultrasound device should also be covered with at least a 1 year warranty. And best of all, with a portable therapeutic ultrasound machine, you can treat your arthritis daily when it is most convenient for you.
Chosing the Right Ultrasound Machine:
To pick the perfect home ultrasound machine, you want to buy your unit from a seller who actually cares about your health and well-being not just the sale. Home ultrasound machines should be purchased from a company that specializing in ultrasound, like EZUltrasound.com, that gives you all the answers about ultrasound therapy you need to treat properly.
When you purchase an ultrasound therapy machine from EZUltrasound, you get our dedicated support and the convenience of one-stop pain relief shopping. In addition to our line of therapeutic ultrasound devices, we offer complementary pain relief products that mean saving on shipping costs and time spent shopping around. These pain relief products include:
- Home ultrasound machines for easy healing and pain relief at home
- Clear Ultrasound Gel that are free of skin irritants such as dyes and fragrances
- Sombra Gel Phonophoresis Gel and Topical Analgesic for all-natural pain relief and enhanced ultrasound treatment
At EZUltrasound.com, our goal is to help you heal faster and get back to living a wonderfully pain-free life. We’re here to place portable ultrasound machines in the hands of people around the globe and honor each and every one of those customer connections.
What Makes the UltraCure PRO™ Different?
Blow By Blow: The UC Pro vs. the US-1000
Verdict: Overall, the UltraCure Pro wins all around! A truly unique ultrasound therapy product you can’t get anywhere but from EZUltrasound! Boasting 3x the therapeutic ultrasound output of the US1000 and three timer settings for more precise treatments. In addition, the UC Pro’s large easy-to-select buttons, ergonomic handle and sturdy carrying case make is durable enough for both travel and home use.
Studies have shown that people who receive early treatment for arthritis feel better sooner and more often, are more likely to lead an active life, and are less likely to experience chronic arthritis pain, and the type of joint damage that leads to joint replacement.
By reducing inflammation in your joints faster and quickly relieving arthritic pain with a home ultrasound machine, you can lead a more active normal life. If you would like to reduce or eliminate you intake of harmful pain-killers and improve your arthritic symptoms and chronic joint pain, a portable ultrasound unit would be a great, affordable option for managing your arthritis.
About the Author
Christine Beggs was the founder of EZUltrasound.com, the leading provider of portable home ultrasound machines to relieve pain and speed healing.