Design and evaluation of a wearable self-applied therapeutic ultrasound device for chronic myofascial pain.

Ultrasound therapy for pain and healing is a flexible treatment modality for musculoskeletal conditions that is applied every day in rehabilitation clinics around the planet. This group designed and built a wearable, battery-operated, low-intensity therapeutic ultrasound (LITUS) device that patients can self-apply and operate during daily activity for up to 6 hours. Thirty individuals with chronic trapezius myofascial pain evaluated the LITUS system in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 10 day study under institutional review board approval. While staying on their prescribed medication regimen, patients with the active device reported on average 1.94× reduction in pain and 1.58× improvement in health relative to placebo devices after 1 hour of treatment. Both of these results were statistically significant (p < 0.05) for the first 2 days of the study. Male patients reported the largest percentage of benefit, and there is a sex-treatment confound in the sample.

Their study indicated that wearable, long-duration LITUS technology improved mobile access to drug-free pain relief.