Modalities may involve a simple technique like applying ice with our Game Ready Compressive Device for acute injury to more complex modalities like cold laser to reduce pain and promote healing. Treatment modalities when appropriately applied are very useful in adjunct to therapeutic exercise and manual techniques in rehabilitation.
Modalities are physical agents used in conjunction with physical therapy. Physical agents have a direct effect primarily at the level of the impairment. They help to improve blood flow, reduce inflammation and edema, reduce pain, and abolish muscle spasms.
- Game Ready
- Cold laser
- Electrical stimulation
- Cervical traction
Game Ready® features innovative ACCEL™ technology that synergistically combines active pneumatic compression and rapidly circulating cold therapy to do more than passively treat symptoms of pain and swelling. ACCEL gives you the therapeutic power to accelerate the body’s natural repair mechanisms by enhancing lymphatic function, encouraging oxygenated blood flow, and stimulating tissue healing. Most other methods cold therapy applications are either static or have low fluid flow rates. This means the source of the cold therapy develops a warm layer next to the injured area as it cools the skin, minimizing efficacy. Game Ready technology enables deeper, longer-lasting cold therapy. In addition, most other cold therapy does not offer compression – and if it does, it’s usually static. While static compression is commonly accepted as a useful method for passively mitigating swelling, it does not help the body heal. By contrast, Game Ready’s form of active compression mimics natural muscle contractions to stimulate tissue healing.
Cold Laser Therapy or Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a treatment that utilizes specific wavelengths of light to interact with tissue and is thought to help accelerate the healing process. It can be used on patients who suffer from a variety of acute and chronic conditions in order to help eliminate pain, swelling, reduce spasms and increase functionality. The effects of 3LT™ are cold not thermal, thus photochemical processes are effected. Hot lasers in the medical world are used for surgical precision while cold lasers are used for healing precision. During treatment of the tissue with the laser beam, an interaction between cells and photons takes place, thus a photochemical reaction. Photons from the laser affect the tissue at the cellular level. The cold laser enters the tissue, alters cell membrane permeability, and at the cellular level is absorbed in the mitochondria of the cell creating physiological changes such as:
- Rapid cell growth. The laser accelerates cellular reproduction and growth.
- Faster wound healing. The laser stimulates fibroblast development in damaged tissue. The reduction in recovery time is an important consideration.
- Increased metabolic activity. Helps the body increase output of specific enzymes, greater oxygen to blood cells and more effective immune response are induced by laser.
- Reduced fibrous tissue formation. The laser reduces the formation of scar tissue following tissue damage from cuts, scratches, burns, or following surgery.
- Anti-inflammatory action. The laser reduces swelling caused by bruising or inflammation of joints to give improved joint mobility.
- Increased vascular activity. The laser stimulates lymph and blood circulation, to allow the affected tissue to have the best possible circulation.
- Stimulated nerve function. Slow recovery of nerve function in damaged tissue can result in "dead" limbs or numb areas. Laser will speed the process of nerve cell reconnection to bring the numb areas back to life. Laser also increases the amplitude of action potentials to optimize muscle action.
Electrical stimulation uses an electrical current to cause a single muscle or a group of muscles to contract. By placing electrodes on the skin in various locations the physical therapist can recruit the appropriate muscle fibers. Contracting the muscle via electrical stimulation helps strengthen the affected muscle. The physical therapist can change the current setting to allow for a forceful or gentle muscle contraction. Along with increasing muscle strength, the contraction of the muscle also promotes blood supply to the area that assists in healing.
Paraffin therapy is one of the most effective methods of applying deep heat to relieve pain and stiffness.
Iontophoresis is used to administer medication to the specific area for a specific purpose. Some of the most common indications include: inflammation, edema, bone spurs/calcium deposits, fungal infections, scars, wounds, and muscle spasms. Iontophoresis can be used for other indications as long as the medication that needs to be delivered has a specific positive or negative charge.
Therapeutic ultrasound is a treatment modality commonly used in physical therapy. It is used to provide deep heating to soft tissues in the body. These include muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments.
Warm water is the best choice for calming agitation, and according to the Wound Care Information Network, it is also the ideal temperature for wound treatment. Cold water is the preferred choice for the treatment of inflamed joints or muscles. For poor circulation, the water temperature is alternated between hot and cold since this stimulates the circulatory system.
Cervical Traction is a process in which pressure is slowly applied in a pulling direction on the cervical vertabrae of the neck. By relieving the stress between your vertabrae, traction therapy helps to relieve neck and back pain as well as increase motion and flexibility.
Biodex offers a variety of options for neuromuscular testing and rehabilitation. The Biodex system can be used for testing and rehabilitation of the knee, ankle, hip, shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist and also used for work specific exercises during the rehab process.