Shortly after world war II therapeutic ultrasound was
developed to treat musculoskeletal injuries (Figure 1). In
2008 doctoral student George Lewis gets literally “shocked”
at the Cornel Lab. Shortly after that he invents and patents, a
low voltage, low impedance, portable, wearable, rechargeable
ultrasound device. At a meeting of doctoral students at Cornel
where students would present their doctoral studies Lewis said,
his ultrasound device would “change the world”. Thus, Sustained
Acoustic Medicine (SAM) Figure 2 was released to the public.
Today, 2019 the device is used by several universities, hockey,
basketball, football and baseball professional sports teams, and by
US government healthcare agencies.
a. There have been several research studies on SAM. It has
been found to:
b. Increase human muscle temperature 54C at 1.5cm deep
and 3-4 C at 3cm deep.
c. It has been found to decrease pain in subjects with
tendinopathy, all symptoms of inflammation, and even assisted
in bone growth.
d. It has been found to restore lost muscle function in
subjects, and improve grip strength.
e. It has been shown to significantly improve joint function
and reduce pain of patients with knee osteoarthritis in multiple
f. In 2014 the SAM was tested in subjects with chronic
trapezius pain. This was a double-blind study performed on 33 patients. The office that makes SAM recorded the serial number
on each device. They then shipped 33 devices to my lab at
Brigham Young University. Each device was numbered before
it shipped. Each device and randomly assigned to each subject.
Thus 8 students received the sham and 25 subjects received the
actual treatment. The active treatment group decreased pain
significantly better than the sham group (p< 0.001).
As can be seen, the SAM has many advantages over typical
ultrasound, including being small and portable. Physical and occupational therapists and athletic trainer should consider using
it for their patients.