» How we treat it : Modalities
How we treat it

Modalities

A modality is a type of electrical, thermal or mechanical energy that causes physiological changes.

It is used to relieve pain, improve circulation, decrease swelling, reduce muscle spasm, and deliver medication in conjunction with other procedures. Typical types of modalities include electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound, heat, and cryotherapy.

Ultrasound (US)

  • High frequency sound waves that produce a form of deep tissue heating
  • For relief of pain and muscle spasm
  • Promotes circulation
  • Relaxes tight muscles/soft tissue – prepares tissues for stretching

Phonophoresis

  • Use of ultrasound to drive in topical medications through the skin
  • Medications are usually a form of cortisone and xylocaine
  • For treatment of localized inflammations, eg. Heel spurs, tendonitis

Electrical Stimulation

  • Use of different forms of electrical current through surface electrodes that cause muscles to contract and relax
  • For relief of muscle spasm, pain and swelling
  • For muscle re-education and strengthening

Iontophoresis

  • Use of electrical current to drive topical medications through the skin
  • For treatment of localized inflammation, scar softening, reduction in joint calcium deposits

Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation (TENS):

  • Use of low voltage electrical current through surface electrodes that overrides the sensation of pain
  • Small unit (slightly larger than a beeper) worn throughout the day for pain control that the patient can apply a needed

Moist Heat (Hydrocollator)

  • Produces a deeper heat than a dry heating pad
  • Increases circulation, reduces swelling, relaxes muscles/soft tissue, prepares tissue for other treatments

Cryotherapy

  • Use of “ice packs” or “ice massage” in acute injuries and for pain relief (acute or chronic)
  • Reduces swelling, inflammation, muscles spasm

Paraffin

  • A form of heat using paraffin wax and mineral oil
  • Usually applied to hands or feet where other applications of heat are difficult

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