PT Modalities

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PT Modalities stands for physical therapy modalities, a term used to describe the various energy-based and mechanical methods and treatments used by physical therapists to help ease muscle strain, provide pain relief, and administer medicine.

Some of these modalities offered include:

Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

Transcutaneous nerve stimulation, most commonly referred to as TENS, is a variation of the E-stim modality. This treatment involves mild electric currents delivered by a small, battery-operated device that can be utilized without a therapist. The sensation from the electric current manages the discomfort a patient feels by interrupting the pain signal being sent to the brain. TENS can be used to manage chronic and acute pain, as well as muscle spasms.

Moist Heat (hydrocollator)

The moist heat modality is a type of superficial heat therapy that involves applying damp-heat packs to a problem area. Moist heat therapy has been shown to provide significantly more results than dry heat therapy, especially regarding functional improvement. Moist heat therapy can improve circulation, decrease swelling, and relax muscles and other tissues.


The opposite of heat therapy, cold or ice therapy is commonly used to reduce inflammation and decrease blood flow in a specific area during the acute healing phase. Cold therapy can effectively decrease swelling in muscles and injured joints. Often, cold or ice therapy will start with a form of heat therapy to warm up muscles and increase mobility before therapeutic exercise. The cold or ice therapy will then follow these exercises to help reduce inflammatory responses and swelling.

Electrical Simulation

Electrical stimulation, also known as E-stim, is a PT modality that involves attaching electrodes to the patient’s skin and sending pulses of electricity with adjustable rhythm. E-stim can be used for pain relief, improving functionality and movement, increasing strength in weak muscles, increasing blood flow, and treating muscle spasms.


Iontophoresis is similar to phonophoresis. However, iontophoresis utilizes electric charges rather than ultrasound waves to administer medicine. The negative electric charge applied to the negatively charged medicine works to push the medication through to the injured tissues. Iontophoresis is used to treat hyperhidrosis disorder and manage pain.


Phonophoresis is a PT modality method involving ultrasound and medication gel to administer the medicine without an injection. The ultrasound waves pass the medication through the skin and to the injury. This method is commonly used to treat inflammation in the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissues. The phonophoresis modality can also manage other common ailments, such as bursitis, arthritis, tendonitis, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder).

Contact Allied Wellness Centers

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(254) 741-5992

7111 Bosque Blvd Suite 101
Waco, TX 76710

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