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Product review: Ultralieve Pro
The Ultralieve Pro is a handheld ultrasound device that can be used at home to treat acute or chronic sports injuries. Sportsister puts it to the test.
Ultrasound is a therapy normally confined to the physiotherapists’ table, but now thanks to a clever new handheld device from Ultralieve Pro, it is available for home use whenever you need it
As a therapy, ultrasound is often used by physios and therapists in conjunction with other treatments, such as manipulation, massage, ice treatment and interferential and is proven to be very effective. The theory of ultrasound is that millions of sound waves penetrate deep into tissue to promote healing of inflammed or damaged muscles, tendons and ligaments.
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The Ultralieve Pro device itself is mains operated and comes with a gel that must be used during treatment. There are three settings – low, medium or high – and it can be set to turn itself off after 5, 10 or 15 minutes. The device has a small metal ‘head’ that you move in small slow circles around and over the injured body part for an alloted time. It’s easy to use and even has it’s own storage bag.
We tested it out over a period of three weeks on a number of various running injuries and niggles. It worked very well on an extensive patch of bruising (after a cycling accident) drawing the bruising out very quickly and helping with healing. It was more difficult to tell the effectiveness on a partially torn ligament, but there was definitely an improvement for 24 hours following each treatment.
The biggest benefit however, was using it on a tight and sore achilles tendon. We used the Ultralieve Pro for 5 minutes every other day for one week. After that time, the achy, tight feeling on waking improved significantly, tenderness had gone completely and the range of movement when running was back to normal. We were actually really impressed and quite surprised by how effective it was.
Most physios we spoke to were wary and somewhat sceptical of the concept however. How could a handheld device that you can buy on the internet for £150, do the same job as one of the medical grade machines that costs thousands of pounds? Whilst it doesn’t deliver quite the same strength of ultrasound that you can get from physio you’re unlikely to do any damage with it, it is actually a medical grade device and in our testing we definitely found it to be really effective.
Obviously the Ultralieve Pro can’t be used as a ‘replacement’ to conventional treatment from the physio or sports therapist. A physiotherapist will use a combined treatment package to deal with your injury and will need to identify the ’cause’ as well. Ultrasound treatment is only part of the bigger picture. The Ultralieve Pro should be viewed as an ‘adjunct’ to physiotherapy treatment but can be effectively used to deal with small areas of inflammation and tenderness and as a ‘top up’ between physio sessions. We think it’s a great little device that can certainly add to your armour against injury and well worth the investment of £150. If you have any concerns or questions, consult your sports therapist or physiotherapist before using it.
Note: Ultralieve® Pro should be used with the accompanying Gel for best results.
More info: www.ultralieve.com.
If you have any doubts about how to use the device please consult a physiotherapist or your doctor. If you have an injury, please make sure you get a proper diagnosis first before using the device and take advice from your doctor. The device is most suitable for those who have received ultrasound treatment in the past and know how to use it properly. Make sure to read the instruction manual fully and seek advice if you’re unsure about using it.
Sarah Russell, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine