Unlike moist heat packs, which is considered a superficial or close to the skin heating modality, ultrasound is a deep heat modality. Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to send vibrations deep into the body to heat up the tissues. Ultrasound therapy is effective for acute sprains and strains in addition to other inflammatory processes such as bursitis and tendonitis. Also, ultrasound helps to minimize post-injury scar tissue thereby reducing the chance of future injury.
Electro-Muscle Stimulation (EMS) is a unique form of electrical current that is administered at the site of an injury. The primary uses for this therapy is to help reduce pain and swelling while improving general muscle tone in the injured area. EMS can be used in conjunction with moist heat or ice therapy prior to chiropractic spinal adjustments.
Moist Heat Packs are generally used on patients with chronic pain and muscle tightness. The heat increases blood flow to the affected area, thereby helping to remove painful toxins trapped in the muscles. This helps the muscles relax and become more suitable for the chiropractic spinal adjustment procedures.
Cryotherapy is the application of cold packs to an injured area. The goals of the therapy are to help reduce acute pain in addition to the swelling and muscle spasm often associated with injury. Cryotherapy is usually performed in the first 48-72 hours after the initial onset of injury. However, cryotherapy can also be used in chronic conditions when bouts of acute, inflammatory exacerpations take place.