Ultrasound is a treatment method that is used at Macclesfield Podiatry to promote the healing and improve the discomfort of a variety of foot and leg soft tissue injuries.

What is ultrasound?

Podiatrists and other health professionals use ultrasound to encourage healing. Ultrasound is the use of sound waves, which penetrate tissues and help in the treatment of a number of injuries to soft tissue. The soft tissue injuries that ultrasound may benefit include; pain and swelling, inflammation, and scar tissue remodelling.

Ultrasound that is used to aid healing is referred to as therapeutic ultrasound.

There are two type main types of therapeutic ultrasound. The type of ultrasound provided will depend on the injury and the effect desired. The ultrasound effects include:

Thermal effect

Thermal effect ultrasound occurs when the sound waves are absorbed, which causes the tissue to heat locally. The tissue is heated due to the wave's ability to go through the skin, as the waves pass through the skin they vibrate. The vibration that occurs is what heats the tissue.

Tissue that has a high collagen and protein content responds the best to thermal effect ultrasound. Tissues that have a high protein and collagen content include tendons, ligaments, joint capsules and scar tissue. Tissues that have a high fat content do not respond well to thermal effect ultrasound.

Non-thermal effect

Non-thermal effect ultrasound occurs when the ultrasound waves are scattered instead of absorbed, this type of ultrasound is what is known as mechanical ultrasound. The sound waves are scattered by pulsing the sound waves, which means that the tissue is not heated. Non-thermal effect ultrasound can be used in the treatment of pain, to promote healing, and inflammation.

How does ultrasound work?

Ultrasound works by using high frequency sound waves to aid healing. Sound waves have the ability to penetrate tissue, they can therefore produce the desired effect locally; at the site of the problem.

Thermal effect ultrasound heats the tissue being treated. Once the tissue is heated between 40 and 45 degrees there is increased blood flow to the area, which helps to speed the healing process and reduce longstanding inflammation.

Non-thermal effect ultrasound involves the transmission of pulsed sound waves. The pulsed sound waves are scattered and produce tiny air bubbles, the effect of this is that the cell membrane is stimulated directly, which boosts the repair of cells.

Benefits of ultrasound

If you have any of the following podiatric conditions you may benefit from ultrasound therapy:

  • Heel pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • Stress fractures (diagnosis)
  • Bursitis
  • Muscular pain

The benefits that may be achieved following ultrasound therapy include:

  • Reduction in pain
  • Reduction in inflammation
  • Improvement in blood flow
  • Increased healing
  • Improvement in muscle tension

If ultrasound is deemed to be an appropriate treatment then this will be discussed with you following an assessment with one of our podiatrists.


Ultrasound is a treatment that is used at Macclesfield Podiatry to aid the healing of a number of foot and lower limb soft tissue injuries. There are two types of effect that can be achieved with ultrasound; thermal and non-thermal. The effect required will depend on the injury. If you feel you would benefit from ultrasound visit Macclesfield Podiatry for an assessment.

How can I arrange a podiatry assessment?

If you would like to discuss therapeutic ultrasound further, or, if you would like to make an appointment, please Email office@macclesfieldpodiatry.co.uk , or phone 0161 883 0099 .

We are part of Chiropody.co.uk - We provide immediate access to a high quality, value for money bespoke podiatry service. Our podiatrists provide specialist treatments to meet the needs of individuals, case managers, solicitors, organisations, care homes, and sport teams.