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Coronavirus Update: We’re still open and here to help you, but spaces are limited. Please call ASAP to book your appointment.

What are the Types of Physical Therapy Modalities?


Most people see Physical Therapy as painful. However, that is simply not true. Did you know we offer modalities to help with pain?

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.

What are the Types of Physical Therapy Modalities?

A Physical Therapy modalities list can be rather lengthy, but our modalities most often used are:

Ultrasound- These high frequency sound waves are most familiar for taking pictures, but they also produce deep tissue heating that relieves pain, muscle spasms, and relaxes tight muscles.

Phonophoresis- This works in combination with ultrasound to drive topical medications through the skin and deep into the tissues. Common medications include lidocaine and cortisone.

Hydrocollator- A moist heat that offers deeper penetration than a heating pad.

Ice Therapy- Ice packs are used to relieve pain and reduce swelling.

Electrotherapeutics- The electric modalities used in physical therapy include a large number of devices that use low levels of electricity to improve healing and reduce pain. Common items include a TENS device, Iontophoresis, and IFC.

Cupping- Cups increase blood circulation to the area where the cups are placed. This may relieve muscle tension, which can improve overall blood flow and promote cell repair.

Traction Devices- Traction devices help to reduce pain and allow for greater mobility, as well as reducing pressure on the nerves.

Dry Needling- This procedure uses a filament needle that makes several small punctures into a muscle area that contains a trigger point, thus releasing pain.

Hypervolt-  The therapy gun aids to help relieve muscle pain, stiffness and soreness, increase range of motion, circulation and blood  flow. Using the Hypervolt to warm up and cool down can prime your body for a tough workout and help return oxygen to your muscles afterward which further aids in recovery.

Biofeedback- By using specialized equipment, patients learn to detect small changes in their bodies, allowing patients to learn how to self regulate their nervous system reactions, which allows them to experience less pain and reduce anxiety.

Kinesio Taping- This treatment uses a special technique with tape to help the body’s natural healing process while providing support. Kinesio tape is also believed to alleviate pain, help improve lymph drainage, and reduces inflammation by targeting different receptors within the somatosensory system.

Some injuries are caused by incorrect body mechanics, stress that is unique to a particular job, overuse, and traumatic injury. Physical Therapy often educates in proper body mechanics, occupational ergonomics, and posture correction or training to help prevent future injuries. Modalities are extremely important but paired without the proper Physical Therapy plan of care could possibly be counterintuitive.

Ian Goodwin, PTA

paul jones

Paul Jones

Jones Physical Therapy

"We Help People Recover From Injuries Quickly And Completely Without The Use Of Medication, Shots Or Surgery So They Can Live The Active, Pain-Free Lives They Want And Deserve."

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