Physiotherapy Modalities

What are Physiotherapy Modalities?

Physiotherapy modalities are different types of electrical, mechanical or thermal treatment methods. These methods are instrumental in relieving pain, decreasing swelling, improving circulation and reducing muscle spasms. The most common physiotherapy modalities include ultrasound, electrical stimulation, traction, heat, and ice.

Types of Physiotherapy Modalities

The most common types of physiotherapy modalities are ultrasound, electrical stimulation, traction, transcutaneous nerve stimulation, moist heat, ice packs, light therapy, and paraffin.


Ultrasound machines use low or high-frequency sound waves to penetrate the muscles. This causes muscle warming and promotes tissue relaxation. Therefore, it is beneficial in treating muscle spasms and also increases circulation to the particular area.

Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation sends different forms of electrical current used to contract muscles to reduce pain and improve functionality. Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation (TENS) uses safe and small voltages of current for relieving pain.


Traction involves pulling certain segments or parts of the spine to relieve pressure off of the nerves. It can be done both manually and using a machine. It is useful in the treatment of neck pain and low back pain and also improves mobility in the spine.

Heat or Ice Therapy

Heat or ice therapy are oldies but goodies. They continue to be used because they continue to work. Ice reduces the inflammation while heat relaxes the muscles. So, if you are having any sprain or strain, use ice to reduce the inflammation. On the other hand, if you feel tightness in the muscles without any inflammation, use heat.

Light Therapy

Light therapy involves using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and lasers for improving the healing process of injured tissues. It is useful in treating a variety of conditions such as low back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.


It is a form of heat therapy using paraffin wax. It is used in areas such as the hands or feet where other types of heat are difficult. Paraffin wax therapy is a good option for people suffering from arthritis and other rheumatic diseases because heat helps in increasing blood flow and in relaxing the muscles.