Physical Therapy Modalities: Understanding the Tools of the Trade
When you walk into a physical therapy session, there are a lot of different pieces of equipment that you may see your therapist using. These pieces of equipment are called modalities, and they each serve a different purpose. While your therapist will always tailor your individualized treatment plan to your specific needs, here is a general overview explained by Robert Stravinsky of some of the most common modalities used in physical therapy.
Anodyne therapy is a type of infrared light therapy that is used to increase blood flow and reduce pain and inflammation. Anodyne therapy has been shown to be effective in treating conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, tendinitis, and nerve pain.
Cold packs are one of the most common modalities used in physical therapy. Cold packs are typically used for acute injuries or flare-ups of chronic conditions. Cold packs help to reduce pain and swelling by constricting blood vessels and numbing the affected area.
Heat packs are another common modality used in physical therapy Robert Stravinsky. Heat packs are typically used for chronic conditions or after stretches or exercises to help relax muscles. Heat increases blood flow to the affected area which can help to reduce pain and stiffness.
Ultrasound is a type of low-frequency sound wave that produces heat when it comes into contact with tissue. Ultrasound is typically used for chronic conditions such as tendonitis or bursitis. The heat produced by the ultrasound can help to reduce inflammation and increase blood flow to the affected area.
Electrical stimulation (or e-stim) is a type of physical therapy that uses low-voltage electrical currents to stimulate muscles and nerves. Electrical stimulation has been shown to be effective in treating conditions such as nerve pain, muscle weakness, and spasms.
Conclusion: As you can see, there are many different types of modalities that your therapist may use during your session. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it gives you a general idea of some of the most common modalities used in physical therapy. If you have any questions about the modalities being used during your session, be sure to ask your therapist!