Treatments Used in Physical Therapy

The purpose of physical therapy is to help improve the healing of an injury by increasing the range of motion and helping reduce the pain and inflammation. Below are several treatments used by physical therapists:

  • Stretching- By stretching different areas of your body, a physical therapist is able to limber and relax tense areas around the joints, which helps increase the overall range of motion after incurring an injury or while recovering from injury.
  • Cryotherapy- Otherwise know as ice pack therapy, Cryotherapy introduces extreme cold temperatures to the necessary areas of pain or discomfort. The cold helps decrease inflammation as well as slow down the ability of the nervous system to process pain. This treatment leads to a reduction in pain.
  • TENS- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is sometimes used for pain management. Physical therapists put electrodes on the affected area, delivering charges into the muscle which then produces a nerve response that leads to pain reduction.
  • Massage- By massaging the affected area, physical therapists help promote blood flow and relax the muscles. A massage works to manipulate muscles and connective tissues to encourage relaxation, decrease pain and increase range of motion.
  • Iontophoresis- This treatment focuses on reducing inflammation by introducing steroids to the affected area. An electric current is then applied to the area stimulating the steroids to extend farther in. The steroids help lessen inflammation, which can help ease the pain.
  • Ultrasound- Ultrasound treatment can be used to administer heat to deeper areas of the skin and muscle tissue. Ultrasound employs sound waves that react with the body to produce natural heat.