INjury Modalities

 
 
 

What Does Ice Do?

►Reduces pain by slowing nerve impulses.

►Reduces swelling by decreasing capillary permeability (less fluid escapes from bloodstream into tissues).

►Decreases spasm by inhibiting involuntary muscle contraction.

►Decreases secondary cell death after injury by lowering surviving cells’ need for oxygen

-Because of swelling and congestion in the area, surrounding healthy cells can be damaged due to lack of oxygen after injury.

►Ice can penetrate up to 2 inches into the injured tissues.

►Use ice for initial injury care and for the first few days after injury.

►Use after rehabilitation exercises to control inflammation and any exacerbation of symptoms.



What Does Moist Heat Do?

►Decreases pain by blocking nerve impulses.

►Increases blood flow, which brings healing nutrients to the injured area.

►Increases muscle/tendon flexibility.

►Increases cell metabolism, accelerating the healing process.

►Decreases muscle spasm by inhibiting involuntary muscle contraction.

►Assists removal of waste products left behind by injury.

►Superficially increases tissue temperature 1-3 cm deep.

►Use heat after the initial inflammation resolves (usually 2-3 days after injury)  and once swelling is gone. Using heat too soon after an injury can increase swelling, so if you’re not sure what to use, choose ice.



What Does Electrical Stimulation Do?

►Decreases pain by blocking nerve impulses.

►Decreases muscle spasm by inhibiting involuntary muscle contraction.

►Stimulates the healing process.

►Helps muscles learn to contract again after injury or surgery.

►EStim is often combined with heat or ice to maximize pain relief.



What Does Therapeutic Ultrasound Do?

►Stirs up molecules in tissues, producing deep heat (1-2 inches into tissues).

►Increases blood flow, which brings healing nutrients to the injured area.

►Stimulates cellular protein production, thereby stimulating the healing process.

►Improves elasticity/flexibility of muscles and tendons.

►Increases macrophage activity. Macrophages are special cells that clean up debris in an injured area.

►Reduces scar tissue and reduces inflammation.

►Increases collagen formation (collagen is a protein that makes up ligaments and tendons).

►Increases fibroblast activity. Fibroblasts are reparative cells that appear 3-5 days after injury. They produce important proteins and form new collagen.


 

A “modality” is a method, machine or device that assists with injury treatment. Common sportsmedicine modalities used by athletic trainers include ice and cold therapy devices, moist heat, whirlpool, intermittent compression units, therapeutic ultrasound and electrical stimulation.

Benefits of Common Treatment Modalities

used by Athletic Trainers