June 1-5, 2015

Modality Monday!

What is a modality? A modality is a procedure that modifies a musculoskeletal problem that is limiting a person’s performance. Musculoskeletal problems that would benefit from modalities include: pain, weakness, wounds, scar tissue, inflammation, edema, muscle or joint tightness. There are many different types of modalities to use for the many different types of problems we see in the clinic. Here are a few examples:

1. Superficial Modalities– Applied to the skin to change the temperature.
Paraffin bath– to heat small joints in the fingers and thumbs for arthritic pain relief.
Hot packs– to heat larger areas such as a tight wrist after a fracture and cast.
Ice Massage- to decrease pain in a small area such as tennis elbow.
Cold pack– to reduce pain in a large area like the shoulder.

2. Deep Modalities– They create a thermal response deeper in the tissues.
Ultrasound– sound waves are used to effect a change- decrease pain, allow stretch of a scar, increase circulation to an injured area.
Phonophoresis– Delivery of a medication through the skin using ultrasound waves. Used to treat tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow.

3. Electrotherapy– The use of electricity to improve a client’s performance.
E-Stim– electricity stimulates weak muscle fibers following a nerve injury.
TENS– stimulation of the nerves to reduce pain.
Iontophoresis– Delivery of medication through the skin using electricity.

Our Certified Hand Therapist, Michele Jarzynka, is licensed through the State of Nebraska to use all of the modalities listed here to assist her patients on their road to recovery. Please call us if you have any questions regarding your specific arm or hand pain/injury.