More than 35 million Americans seek chiropractic treatment each year, according to the American Chiropractic Association. They choose chiropractors because they want healing without addictive painkillers and invasive surgical procedures. And thanks to the vast amounts of information available online, patients are more knowledgeable about the options available and more interested in learning what they can do between visits to support their rehabilitation. That is where technologies like sustained acoustic medicine come into play.
It’s important to first distinguish between sustained acoustic medicine and standard therapeutic ultrasound, which has been in widespread use by physiotherapists for decades. Traditionally, ultrasound has been delivered in a clinical setting by a trained practitioner for short durations, usually five to 20 minutes. That is necessary because traditional therapeutic ultrasound generates a significant amount of heat, which can damage tissue if applied for too long in one area. Unfortunately, that need also undercuts the benefits of ultrasound, which provides optimal healing with multiple applications, even daily, per week.
Sustained acoustic medicine provides those optimal results while avoiding safety and logistical difficulties. Many studies have shown that ultrasound intensity and power levels that are closely regulated can be applied to the body for several hours without damaging tissue. That has affirmed that the self-application of ultrasound therapy is safe. Meanwhile, advances in circuit design and autonomous treatment monitoring have made ultrasound devices more efficient and allowed miniaturization to the wearable device level.
Those advances led to the creation of sam®, the first FDA-cleared sustained acoustic medicine device. Developed by more than a decade of research, funded by the National Institute of Health and U.S. Department of Defense, sam® is a controlled delivery, long duration, daily ultrasound treatment that can reduce the need for pain medication and surgery. The mechanobiological device increases blood vessel diameters to improve blood flow, which increases oxygenated hemoglobin at the site and removes cytokine enzymes and cellular waste. This results in rapid healing of the injury and reduced pain.
Since the early 2000s, sam® technology has been shown in more than 30 peer-reviewed studies to be effective in treating back pain, arthritis pain, strain injuries of tendons and ligaments, and to improve recovery, range of motion, strength, and soft-tissue healing.
As a Class II medical device, a licensed healthcare professional must approve its use with a prescription, based on the patient’s needs. While it is designed for self-application, the referring practitioner should guide the patient in dosing and general usage, and monitor progress. That makes sam® an option for professionals who want to elevate their practice and gain a competitive advantage, providing patients with the drug-free, non-invasive treatment option they seek, improving their long-term outcomes and their satisfaction with their recovery.
The author, George Lewis, is CEO of ZetrOZ Systems.