Therapeutic ultrasound is a broad term, it refers to the use of ultrasound to treat a variety of conditions. Ultrasound is very high pitched and cannot be heard by humans.
One of the advantages is that it is not invasive, so lots of conditions can be treated without surgery. It is also really useful to treat parts of the body that are hard to access such as inside the brain.
Some examples of therapeutic ultrasound are:
- Lithotripsy – Shock waves can be generated inside the body to break up stones in the kidney or gallbladder
- Palliative care – Sound energy can be focused on nerve endings to destroy them and relieve pain
- Cancer therapy – Tissue can be heated to increase blood flow to a tumour, or tissue can be ablated