Dry needling is a neurophysiological evidence-based treatment technique that requires effective manual assessment of the neuromuscular system. Physical therapists are well trained to utilize dry needling in conjunction with manual physical therapy interventions. Research supports that dry needling improves pain control, reduces muscle tension, normalizes biochemical and electrical dysfunction of motor end plates, and facilitates an accelerated return to active rehabilitation.
Electrical stimulation is a type of physical therapy modality used to accomplish various tasks in physical therapy. If you have an injury or illness that causes pain or limited functional mobility, your PT may use electrical stimulation, or E-stim, as one part of your rehbaiblition program.
Anodyne therapy is a type of light therapy that is used to help relieve the symptoms of pain, stiffness, muscle spasms, and circulation irregularities. This form of treatment is usually given in addition to physical therapy. It works by relieving pain and/or increasing circulation in the area where the patient is experiencing pain. Anodyne therapy is marketed and sold by Spectropad Systems, which manufactures the device that administers the therapy. The scientific term for Anodyne therapy is monochromatic infrared photo energy (MIRE). MIRE is the type of energy that is used in this form of therapy.
Massage is the rubbing and kneading of muscles and joints of the body with the hands, especially to relieve tension or pain.
Elastic therapeutic tape is an elastic cotton strip with an acrylic adhesive that is used with the intent of treating pain and disability from athletic injuries and a variety of other physical disorders. In individuals with chronic musculoskeletal pain, research suggests that elastic taping may help relieve pain, but not more than other treatment approaches, and there is no evidence that it can reduce disability in chronic pain cases.
Iontophoresis is a safe medical procedure that involves sending mild electrical currents through water and into the skin. It’s usually used to treat excessive sweating. However, it can also be used to treat sports injuries by delivering anti-inflammatory medications directly into the skin.
Ultrasound is applied using a transducer or applicator that is in direct contact with the patient’s skin. Gel is used on all surfaces of the head to reduce friction and assist transmission of the ultrasonic waves. Therapeutic ultrasound in physical therapy is alternating compression and rarefaction of sound waves with a frequency of 0.7 to 3.3 MHz. Maximum energy absorption in soft tissue occurs from 2 to 5 cm. Intensity decreases as the waves penetrate deeper. They are absorbed primarily by connective tissue: ligaments, tendons, and fascia (and also by scar tissue).
The application of heat to a specific area of the body through the use of paraffin wax. The area is quickly immersed in heated liquid wax and then withdrawn so that the wax solidifies to form an insulating layer. The procedure is repeated until the layer is 5 to 10 mm thick, and then the entire area is wrapped in an insulating fabric.
In such cases, muscle tension should be addressed or the joint dysfunction may return. The goal of soft tissue mobilization (STM) is to break up inelastic or fibrous muscle tissue (called ‘myofascial adhesions’) such as scar tissue from a back injury, move tissue fluids, and relax muscle tension.
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get it for many purposes, including to help with pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage.
Cryotherapy is a pain treatment that uses a method of localized freezing temperatures to deaden an irritated nerve. Cryotherapy is also used as a method of treating localized areas of some cancers (called cryosurgery), such as prostate cancer and to treat abnormal skin cells by dermatologists.
Moist heat comes in many forms, including steam towels, hot baths, moist heating packs, etc. It helps to increase tissue elasticity, making it ideal for patients with dry and/or aging skin. Most experts recommend moist over dry heat. Not only is there less of a concern for skin irritation, it is also able to penetrate more deeply into the skin.
These hot packs are typically wrapped in several layers of towels in order to prevent burning. They can be applied onto the problem area for up to twenty minutes. Any redness they may cause should go away within six hours. Reusable heating pads are ideal, and will save you money in the long run.
Traction is a form of decompression therapy that relieves pressure on the spine. It can be performed manually or mechanically. It is used to treat herniated discs, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, pinched nerves, and many other back conditions.