The purpose of this text is to provide an evidence-based but practically oriented guide to the use of therapeutic modalities for the practicing clinician and their students. It is intended for use in courses where various clinically oriented techniques and methods are presented.
The chapters in this text are divided into six parts. Each chapter discusses (1) the physiologic basis for use, (2) clinical applications, (3) specific techniques of application through the use of related laboratory activities, (4) relevant individual case studies for each therapeutic modality, and (5) the current best-available evidence from systematic reviews and meta-analyses for each different type of modality.
Part I—Foundations of Therapeutic Modalities begins with a chapter that discusses the scientific basis for using therapeutic modalities and classifies the modalities according to the type of energy each uses. Guidelines for selecting the most appropriate modalities for use in different phases of the healing process are presented. A chapter that deals specifically with the role of therapeutic modalities in wound healing is followed by a discussion of pain in terms of the neurophysiologic mechanisms of pain and the role of therapeutic modalities in pain management.
Part II—Electrical Energy Modalities includes detailed discussions of the principles of electricity, and electrical stimulating currents, iontophoresis, and biofeedback. A chapter that deals with the principles of electrophysiologic evaluation and testing is included. Although this is not a therapeutic modality per se, electrophysiologic testing is commonly taught in classes that cover electrical modalities and thus the decision was made to include this topic in this text.
Part III—Thermal Energy Modalities discusses those modalities that produce a change in tissue temperatures through conduction or convection, including thermotherapy and cryotherapy.
Part IV—Sound Energy Modalities discusses those modalities that utilize acoustic energy to produce a therapeutic effect. These include therapeutic ultrasound and a lesser known modality, extracorporeal shockwave therapy.
Part V—Electromagnetic Energy Modalities includes chapters on both the diathermies and light therapies.
Part VI—Mechanical Energy Modalities includes chapters on traction, intermittent pneumatic compression, therapeutic massage, and vibration therapy.