Healing Modalities Therapy
Electrical Muscle Stimulation
Electrical muscle stimulation (muscle stim) is the use of varying voltage currents applied in specific frequency ranges and intensities to increase circulation, modulate cells to assist with repairing damaged tissue, and strengthen or increase muscle control and coordination. In addition, muscle stim decreases muscle spasms, pain, inflammation, and edema. Most often, we use it in the early stage of care to give your healing a boost. For some patients, at-home units can be prescribed called TENS units. While TENS units help greatly with pain and are very safe to use for hours each day, they do not assist with healing the same way our muscle stim units do. We use medium frequency and high volt direct current therapies in our office. These healing therapies take approximately 12 minutes and we perform them at the end of your visit.
Cold Laser Healing Therapy
Cold laser is an advanced therapy that applies photons (basic units of light) at a wavelength appropriate to penetrate your skin and be absorbed in your underlying tissues. Cold laser dramatically speeds recovery, especially for conditions in the acute stage (involving inflammation or spasm). Tissues treatable with laser include: muscles, discs, nerves, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, bursae, and fascia. You may be prescribed this therapy if you are experiencing frequent pain and inflammation. The majority of our patients receive it in conjunction with decompression for the first 5 visits. The therapy takes about 3 minutes to be applied, and aside from mild warmth from the bulbs on the instrument, no sensation is felt except some immediate reduction in pain.
The effect of cold therapy is to decrease metabolism and circulation, and reduce pain and muscle spasms. Cold is applied to acute conditions (recent injuries) and flare-ups to slow the inflammatory process and relieve pain. Ice is also used with muscle stimulation at the end your visit to reduce soreness following an examination or physical therapy. The full effect of ice is accomplished within 5-20 minutes and after an area gets numb, it should be stopped for at least 45 minutes. The effect of heat therapy is to increase metabolism and blood flow, decrease pain, and remove toxic bi-products. Moist heat works well to speed healing with chronic conditions and also to warm an area prior to treatment. If you have a chronic issue with no inflammation or recent flare, heat may be applied for up to 30 minutes. Moist heat is more penetrating than dry heat.
Ultrasound is used to heal a damaged area in your body. After applying a gel to the treatment area, an applicator is glided back and forth in varying motions. The applicator vibrates at a very high frequency, penetrating deeply to “shake” your cells and stimulate the healing process by warming the tissue. Ultrasound takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes to perform and patients experience a very light, velvety warmth.