Modalities are types of electrical, thermal or mechanical energy that are used to promote pain relief, improve tissue healing, decrease swelling, and increase neuro-muscular function. Some of the modalities that may be incorporated into your treatment plan include ultrasound, phonophoresis, electrical stimulation, iontophoresis, moist heat, cold/ice packs, and traction.
- Ultrasounds are high frequency sound waves that produce deep tissue heating. It is often used to relieve pain and muscle spasms, promote circulation, and relax the soft tissue.
- Phonophoresis is the use of an ultrasound to disperse topical medications such as cortisone and xylocaine through the skin. It is often used for treatment of localized inflammations such as tendonitis.
- Electrical stimulation is the use of electrical currents to contract and relax the muscles. It is often used to relieve muscle spasms, swelling and pain, and for muscle strengthening and re-education.
- Iontophoresis is the use of electrical stimulation to disperse topical medication through the skin. This is often done for treatment of inflammation such as bursitis, epicondylitis and planter fasciitis.
- Moist heat works deeper than dry heating pads. When used correctly, it can be very beneficial. It is often used to increase circulation and relieve pain, which promotes a quicker recovery.
- Cold/ice packs are used to help reduce pain and swelling, inflammation, and muscle spasms.
- Traction can be done mechanically or manually. Your therapist will determine which is best for you. It is often used to relieve nerve irritation and muscle spasms.