Electrical Stimulation (E-stim)
Therapeutic ultrasound is used as a deep-heating agent. It helps to facilitate healing in severe muscle strains, contusions (bruises), injuries to ligaments, joint capsules, and treat scar tissue.
Hydrocollator packs are more commonly referred to as heat packs. They are used to help relax muscles, in preparation for stretching or physical activity. Unlike ultrasound, the heat from hydrocollator packs do not penetrate deep into the tissue, but create more of a superficial heating sensation.
Ice is the most commonly used modality. Its greatest benefit is pain relief. Different ice applications include: ice bag, ice massage, and commercial ice packs. Ice massage is rubbing ice (usually frozen in dixie cups) directly on the painful area until area is numb. This application is most commonly used with shin splints.*When using a commercial ice pack (anything other than an ice bag), always make sure there is a layer of towel or clothes between the pack and the skin to avoid frostbite.
Cold whirlpools are beneficial for those with ankle sprains more than 2 or 3 days old. Whirlpool treatment allows movement of the ankle, helping to restore full range of motion faster, while still receiving the benefit of the cold. Cold Whirlpools are also beneficial for muscle strains and shin splints because they allow a greater area to be treated. Warm whirlpools are beneficial in relieving sore muscles, and aid in relaxation following practice or competition.