Ultrasound machines are a treatment modality used by physical therapists that utilize high or low frequency sound waves. They penetrate the muscles to cause deep tissue/ muscle warming. This promotes tissue relaxation and is useful in treating muscle tightness and spasms. The warming effect of the sound waves also cause vessel vasodilation and increase circulation to the area that assists in healing.

Superficial Heat

In contrast to deep heating modalities, superficial heating modalities usually do not heat deep tissues, including muscles, because the subcutaneous layer of fat beneath the skin surface acts as a thermal insulator and inhibits heat transfer. Additionally, increased cutaneous blood flow from superficial heating causes a cooling reaction as it removes the heat that is applied externally. The most common forms of superficial heat are moist hot packs, paraffin, and fluidotherapy.


Fluidotherapy is a superficial heat modality consisting of a dry whirlpool of finely divided solid particles suspended in a heated air stream. The mixture has the properties of a liquid. Use of fluidotherapy dry heat is an acceptable alternative to other heat therapy modalities in reducing pain, edema, and muscle spasm from acute or subacute traumatic or non-traumatic musculoskeletal disorders of the extremities.


Iontophoresis is a topical treatment used to get medications such as lidocaine and dexamethasone into the skin through electrical current. The most common treatment is to reduce inflammation in musculoskeletal injuries such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel, or bursitis.

Spinal Traction

Traction is a treatment modality used to relieve spinal pain by stretching and realigning the spine. This treatment places the spine on a stretch that separates the vertebrae and helps relieve direct nerve pressure and stress on the vertebral discs and nerve roots.

Traction may be performed on the neck and the back for diagnoses including herniated or bulging discs and facet dysfunction.


Interferential stimulation (IFS) is a type of electrical stimulation that uses paired electrodes of two independent circuits carrying high-frequency and medium- frequency alternating currents. The superficial electrodes are aligned on the skin around the affected area. It is believed that IFS permeates the tissues more effectively and is more comfortable than transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS). Interferential stimulation is used as a technique to reduce pain, improve range of motion, or promote local healing following various tissue injuries.

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES)

NMES is a non-invasive means of muscle rehabilitation after injury, surgery or disease. Patients of orthopedic and neurologic diagnoses can benefit from NMES. This applies customized electrical stimulus to cause a muscle to contract. By assisting with muscle contraction, NMES can help a patient regain function and return to their daily activities quicker. NMES also assists in regaining range of motion, strengthening a weakened muscle and increases local blood circulation.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

TENS is a form of electrical stimulation that promotes pain relief in a variety of pain conditions. TENS is primarily used in chronic pain conditions and is frequently used for long term treatment for pain in the home. There may be other medications that doctors may prescribe to help hit the pain head on, this may include more natural ways of pain reduction such as medical marijuana, CBD, etc. Websites such as can delve into this further.

Anodyne Therapy

Anodyne Therapy is cleared by FDA for temporarily increasing circulation and reducing pain, stiffness and muscle spasm. Therefore, any condition that would benefit from these indications may benefit from the effects of this infrared therapy device. The most common treatment for Anodyne is Neuropathy.

Typical protocols will require patients to be treated for a minimum of 30 minutes three to five times per week for approximately 4 weeks. Anodyne Infrared Therapy will be provided along with other skilled therapy interventions that are needed to improve function based on the patient’s assessment and personal goals including ROM, balance, proprioceptive, strengthening, and endurance activities. Longer standing conditions may require more frequent treatments and/or longer duration than 4 weeks.


Cryotherapy is the local or general use of low temperatures in medical therapy or the removal of heat from a body part. Its goal is to decrease cellular metabolism, increase cellular survival, decrease inflammation, decrease pain and spasm, and promote vasoconstriction. The most prominent use of cold in therapy is through the use of ice massage, vasopnuematic cold compression, extremity ice bath, and ice pack therapies.

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