Ultrasound is a little like computers: someone thought there would only be about 7 computers in the world, each occupying a full room. Think how technology has changed to the world of watches, iPhones, iPads and laptops everywhere! Ultrasounds used to be big machines in hospitals for radiologists (X-ray docs) to help make medical diagnoses like gallstones and heart function. Today they are used in many areas of medicine by many types of physicians: in the emergency room, for obstetrics, for heart disorders, abdominal complaints, and more recently in the field of musculoskeletal medicine, to diagnose muscle tears, joint degeneration/arthritis, fluid in the tissues like a knee Baker's cyst, and for many other reasons. Even better, we can use ultrasound to guide injecting into certain areas of the body, as seen above in the case of shoulder bursitis. Don't worry, the needle is quite magnified in the image above, and some local anaesthetic makes this procedure quite tolerable!
Jannice is a family physician with an interest in the treatment of pain. Anything to help the process is added to this blog.