Physical Modalities and Therapies
Our physicians and therapists use various interventions to help you move better and feel better. These treatments, called therapeutic modalities or physical modalities, are used to augment your treatment to help you regain your normal functional mobility. We use a variety of modalities to help treat our patients. There is an array of treatment modalities that can help strengthen, relax, and heal muscles. Treatment depends on your specific condition, your needs, and your overall rehab goals.
TYPES OF MODALITIES:
- Hot packs. The heat provided by the hot packs has several important benefits. It relaxes tight muscles causing tissues to relax. This decreases pain caused by muscle tension or spasms. It also causes vasodilatation of the blood vessels which increases circulation to the area. Patients with muscle strains, spasms, or arthritis often benefit from treatment with moist hot packs.
- Cold packs. These frozen gel substance used by physical therapists to treat areas of pain and inflammation. The cold packs are wrapped in a wet towel and applied directly to the area in need of treatment. The freezing effects transferred to the patient’s skin, muscle, and tissue has several beneficial effects. The decrease in tissue temperature causes vasoconstriction of the blood vessels in the area. This decreases the inflammation by closing down local blood vessels, restricting blood flow.
- Ultrasound. Ultrasound machines emit high or low-frequency sound waves. These sound waves are transmitted to the surrounding tissue and vasculature. They penetrate the muscles to cause deep tissue/muscle warming. This promotes tissue relaxation and therefore is useful in treating muscle tightness and spasms. The warming effect of the sound waves also cause vessel vasodilatation and increase circulation to the area that assists in healing and decreases inflammation.
- Electric muscle stimulation. This modality uses an electrical current to cause a single muscle or a group of muscles to contract. By placing electrodes on the skin in various locations, your doctor or therapist can recruit the appropriate muscle fibers. This helps improve the contraction of the affected muscle. Along with increasing muscle strength, the contraction of the muscle also promotes blood supply to the area that assists in healing.
- Light Therapy. Light therapy involves the use of lasers and light emitting diodes to improve healing in injured tissues. Lasers of a specific wavelength are shined into your injured tissues, and it is theorized that this light speeds cellular processes, speeding up the healing of these injured tissues.
- Kinesiology Tape. K-Tape is a relatively new treatment in physical therapy and athletic training. Special cloth tape is applied to your body to help decrease pain, improve circulation, or to facilitate muscle function.