1-Ultrasound is a deep heating treatment used to treat many musculoskeletal conditions like sprains, strains, or tendonitis. Ultrasound is administered by your physical therapist using an ultrasound machine. A wand called a sound head is pressed gently against your skin and moved in small circular sweeps near the site of injury. A small amount of gel is used so the ultrasound waves are absorbed into the skin and muscles.
2-Electrical stimulation and TENS (transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation) is occasionally used in physical therapy to help decrease pain around injured tissue. There are two theories about how the stimulation works: the gate theory and the opiate theory.
Other forms of electrical stimulation may be used to contract muscles. This is called neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and is used to help your injured muscles "relearn" how to function properly.
Joint mobilization occurs when your physical therapist passively moves the joints of your body in specific directions. This can help to decrease pain and improve mobility. While we often think of our joints moving as hinges, there is a gliding motion that also occurs between the joints of the body. This gliding motion is increased during joint mobilizations. The degree to which your therapist moves each joint depends on the amount of pressure and the direction of force applied to the joint.
While joint mobilization is a passive treatment, your physical therapist can teach you self-mobilization techniques so you can manage your problem independently. This can help you return to normal function quickly and offer you a strategy to prevent future problems.
Moist heat, or hot packs, may be applied to your body if you have an injury. The heat helps to increase circulation to the injured tissues, relax the muscles, and provide pain relief.
In a physical therapy clinic, hot packs are kept in a device called a hydrocollator. This is a large tank of hot water. The hot packs are cloth packs filled with a sand, clay and silica mixture. The hot pack absorbs the hot water, and then it is wrapped in terry cloth covers and towels before being applied to your body. The hot pack is usually kept on the injured body part for 15 to 20 minutes.
5-If you have an injury, cold packs or ice may be applied to your body to help decrease pain and control inflammation. Ice is usually used during the acute or initial phase of injury to limit localized swelling around tissues.
Cold packs are usually applied for 15 to 20 minutes. Like hot packs, care must be used to prevent skin damage from getting too cold.
Iontophoresis is a form of electrical stimulation that is used to deliver medication across the skin to inflamed or injured tissues. Most often, a steroid like dexamethasone is used in the treatment of inflammation. This steroid can help decrease pain and swelling of tissues that occurs when they are inflamed.
Iontophoresis can be used in the treatment of other conditions as well, depending upon the medication that is used during treat
7-Light therapy involves using light at a specific wavelength to help improve the healing process of injured tissues. The treatment is painless and usually lasts for approximately one to three minutes. To apply light therapy, your physical therapist will hold the light emitting wand directly over your injured body part and press a button to activate the light.
Light therapy can be used in the treatment of chronic pain, inflammation, or wound healing.
The theory behind light therapy is that photons of light carry energy, and this energy applied to injured tissues can help improve cellular processes and speed healing or decrease pain.
8-inesiology taping, or K-tape, is often used by physical therapists to augment your rehab program. The tape is made of a flexible fabric that stretches and pulls as you move. It may be used for various functions, which may include:
• Muscle inhibition
• Muscle facilitation
• Bruising and swelling management
•. Pain relief
Kinesiology tape is applied to the skin, and it can be kept in place for a few days. Caution should be used; since K-tape is a newer treatment modality, it has yet to be fully tested, and gains made with it may be due to the placebo effect.