Modalities: Heat, Cold, Electric Stimulation
The certified hand therapists at Midwest Hand Therapy use a variety of “modalities” to help with the treatment of arthritis, sprains, strains, nerve injuries, sports injuries, hand joint inflammation, complex pain syndromes and discomfort.
A modality is a therapeutic agent that produces hot, cold, or even electric stimulation that is then applied to the affected area. Modalities are imperative to decreasing potential long-term disabilities, and help to ease discomfort in the short run.
Heat modalities, such as hot packs, may be applied before hand exercises to help the muscles relax. They also stimulate blood flow, improve circulation, reduce stiffness, decrease pain and increase a patient’s range of motion.
Cold modalities, such as ice packs, may be used after hand therapy exercises because the cold temperature helps to reduce swelling and inflammation.
Electrical stimulation may be used with patients that are affected by paralysis or immobility of the hand. Electrical currents are used to activate nerves, so that simple functionality such as grasping and voluntary movement can be restored. It is not painful, and is often integrated into the more traditional hand rehabilitation practices at Midwest Hand Therapy.
Based on the specific injury and healing requirements, Midwest Hand Therapy’s certified therapists will design a plan that may include some, or all of the abovementioned modalities.