Can you explain the term stretching window and how it applies to ultrasound treatment?
This term “stretching window” has been coined to apply to ultrasound. It means how long you have before the ultrasound temperature increase drops back down below a therapeutic level. Let’s that we render an ultrasound treatment that increases the tissue temperature to 3.5 degrees C over about a 12.5 minute period. Then we shut the ultrasound unit off, but we continue to measure the tissue temperature. You will see that in about 10 minutes, from 12.5 to 22.5, we are down 2.5 degrees. In 10 minutes, we have dropped 2.5 degrees. This goes down to a mild level of heating. You have basically 10 minutes to do your stretching technique or do your mobilization technique or to release the trigger point before you have lost the effect of ultrasound. This is what has been coined as the stretching window. This is the window of time that you have to render your treatment. I am sure that all of us have done this scenario that I am going to share with you. How many times have you put a hot pack on someone, then you do the ultrasound treatment, take the ultrasound off, clean off the head and put it back on the cart, unplug the cart, move it into the next room for one of your colleagues to use, you come back in, clean up the patient, and now about three to four minutes had passed. You have just lost at least a degree if not a degree and a half. You have lost a significant portion of the efficacy of the treatment. That is just common practice. What about the times when you do an ultrasound treatment and then you have to go check someone’s exercise program? Or worse yet, you get a call from a physician or insurance company and you take that call? Ten minutes later when you come back, you might as well have not done the ultrasound