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What are physical Therapy Modalities?

If this is the first time that you've considered seeking out physical therapy in Vero Beach, FL as a result of an injury or disorder that has limited mobility or function, then odds are you're a bit curious as to what treatment is actually like. A physical therapist will often use a combination of therapeutic exercise and manual therapy as well as a number of potential therapy modalities.

What are Physical Therapy Modalities?

Physical therapy modalities are types of treatment that involve electrical, mechanical or thermal energy used to cause a physiological change. Such modalities are used in order to help reduce pain, reduce swelling, increase circulation and reduce muscle spasms. They can also be used to apply medication in a topical manner. The following are some of the common types of modalities often used in physical therapy:

  • Traction - Traction is one of the more well-known physical therapy modalities. It involves the pull of spinal segments in order to reduce nerve irritation or muscle spasms. Traction can be performed with a specific machine or it can be done manually.
  • Electric muscle stimulation - This modality uses surface electrodes to deliver different forms of electrical current to the muscles, helping them contract and relax in order to relieve muscle spasms, swelling, and pain as well as to rebuild and strengthen them.
  • Iontophoresis - Iontophoresis is a modality that also uses an electrical current. However, it's purpose is to deliver topical medications through the skin to treat localized inflammation, reduce joint calcium deposits and soften scars.
  • Ultrasound - Ultrasound waves are often used as a way to provide deep tissue heating, which can help reduce pain and muscle spasms, promote circulation and relax tight muscles and soft tissue.
  • Phonophoresis - Phonophoresis is a modality that also uses ultrasound waves. However, it's purpose is to deliver topical medications through the skin, such as xylocaine or cortisone, in order to treat localized inflammations.
  • Paraffin - Paraffin wax and mineral oil are used to apply heat in areas where heat is difficult to apply to, such as the hands and feet. This modality helps increase circulation, relax muscles and soft tissue, and reduce swelling.

These are just a few of the common modalities that physical therapists use to treat their patients. If you are in need of physical therapy in Vero Beach, FL and would like to know more about the modalities we use, contact us at Florida Spine today.

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