|Posted on March 2, 2018 at 10:20 AM|
What is Musculoskeletal Ultrasound?
Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to produce pictures of muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints throughout the body. It is used to help diagnose sprains, strains, tears, and other soft tissue conditions. Ultrasound is safe, noninvasive, and does not use ionizing radiation.
What is Ultrasound Imaging of the Musculoskeletal System?
Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image. Ultrasound examinations do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays), thus there is no radiation exposure to the patient. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show structures under the stresses they endure with normal movement. It is this unique property that allows us to see compromises of ligaments and tendons quite easily.
What are some common uses of the procedure?
Ultrasound images are typically used to help diagnose:
• Tendon tears, or tendinitis of the rotator cuff in the shoulder, Achilles tendon in the ankle and other tendons throughout the body.
• Muscle tears, masses or fluid collections.
• Ligament sprains or tears.
• Inflammation or fluid (effusions) within the bursae and joints.
• Early changes of rheumatoid arthritis.
• Nerve entrapments such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
• Benign and malignant soft tissue tumors.
• Ganglion cysts.
• Foreign bodies in the soft tissues (such as splinters or glass).
• Dislocations of the hip in infants.
• Fluid in a painful hip joint in children.
• Neck muscle abnormalities in infants with torticollis (neck twisting).
• Soft tissue masses (lumps/bumps) in children.
This exercise can be simple but powerful by helping you start to appreciate seemingly simple elements of your environment.
The exercise is designed to connect us with the beauty of the natural environment, something that is easily missed when we are rushing around in the car or hopping on and off trains on the way to work.
1 Choose a natural object from within your immediate environment and focus on watching it for a minute or two. This could be a flower or an insect, or even the clouds or the moon.
2 Don’t do anything except notice the thing you are looking at. Simply relax into watching for as long as your concentration allows.
3 Look at this object as if you are seeing it for the first time.
4 Visually explore every aspect of its formation, and allow yourself to be consumed by its presence. Notice the color, shapes, textures, movements, and sounds.
5 Allow yourself to connect with its energy and its purpose within the natural world.
Throughout the month of March give your mindful observation a try. When waiting for a friend or family member practice this observation. Don’t forget about your breathing and continue to practice the mindful breathing you practiced last month.