Physical Therapy Modalities

We use various physical therapy modalities to help treat the muscles, ligaments, tendons and soft tissues of the human body. The most common physical modalities used in our practice are as follows:

Dry Needling
Dry needling is an effective treatment for chronic pain of neuropathic orgin and has been demonstrated to have very few side effects. This technique is unequalled in eliminating neuromuscular dysfunction of myofascial trigger point origin that results in pain, functional adaptations, and neuromuscular deficits. Using the same needles as acupuncture, dry needling is designed to treat trigger points. Trigger points are persistent, painful areas in your muscles, tendons or fascia that can feel like a knot that just doesn't release, no matter how much you massage the area. Dry needling goes deeper than massage therapy by penetrating the trigger points and deactivating them, allowing you to move more freely.
Hot Packs
Moist hot packs, layered in towels, are placed on affected areas needing treatment. The heat produced by the hot packs provide several important benefits. It soothes tight muscles by causing the tissues in the muscles to relax. This decreases pain attributed to muscle tension or spasms. It causes vasodilatation of the blood vessels, which increases circulation to the area. Patients with muscle strains, spasms, or arthritis often benefit from moist hot pack therapy.
Cold Packs
Cold packs are used to treat pain and areas of inflammation. The cold packs are wrapped in wet towels and applied directly to the affected areas of the body. Cold transferring to the skin, muscle, and tissues constrict blood vessels, which provide healing benefits. Vasoconstriciton decreases inflammation, which negates pain and discomfort in the area being treated.
Ultra Sound
Ultrasound machines are treatment modalities utilize sound waves in high and low frequencies. These sound waves are transmitted to surrounding tissues and vasculature of the treatment area, penetrating muscles with deep tissue warming. This therapy promotes tissue relaxation, which is useful in treating muscle tightness and muscle spasms. Another benefit is that warming effects produced cause vessel vasodilatation, increasing circulation to affected areas for healing assistance.
A TENS unit stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, consisting of a battery operated machine using electrical transmissions to decrease pain. Electrodes are applied to the affected area. The machine produces electrical currents that are sent through electrodes onto the skin’s surface. A tingling sensation is felt throughout underlying skin and muscles. This signal disrupts the pain signal being sent from the affected area to other surrounding nerves. The patient will experience less pain by breaking this bodily signal response.
Electrical Stimulation
Electrical stimulation uses electrical currents to contract a single muscle or a group of muscles below the skin’s surface. By placing electrodes on the skin, in various locations, the Physical Therapist can recruit appropriate muscle fibers. Contracting muscle fibers via electrical stimulation help strengthen appropriate affected muscles. Besides increasing muscle strength, the muscle contraction also promotes blood supply to the affected areas for healing assistance.