The patient is evaluated through a history and examination to determine what is causing the pain, what phase of healing the body is experiencing and how to treat the condition. Depending on which phase or stage of healing (acute stage, subacute state or rehabilitative stage), will determine which therapies to use.
HOT PACKS & ULTRASOUND THERAPY
Heat benefits the body by dilating, or enlarging, blood vessels thereby stimulating blood flow and delivery of nutrients to the body's tissues. It also relaxes muscles and when used at the appropriate time in the healing process, accelerates healing. Some methods used to deliver the heat include moist hot packs and ultrasound.
Cold therapy is usually administered through an ice pack. It is one of the most under-rated and under-utilized therapies. It is an effective analgesic and inflammation reducer. In the acute, or inflammatory, phase when the body's injured area is hot to the touch, swollen and tender, ice packs cool the area and inactivate the inflammatory process. One of the most convenient methods of delivering cold is with the reusable ice pack.
STRETCHES & EXERCISES
To maintain the muscular tone and elasticity, stretches and exercises are very important. Initially, stretches to balance the joint are performed, followed by strengthening exercises to stabilize the joint. Also a cardiovascular benefit is achieved with regular exercise, as is weight control and weight loss.
Traction therapy is used to distract a joint or increase joint space. It is commonly used on vertebral disc herniations, or bulges, which provides relief to the affected nerves. The patient is trained to perform the traction at home or office during the day, thereby allowing the person to maintain the treatment progress without being solely dependent on office visits. There are several methods to doing traction depending on the particular condition and response to treatments.
A very ancient and effective therapy, massage is mainly comprised of several strokes with the goal of relaxing the muscle by reducing muscle spasms and edema, increasing blood flow to the area with its healing properties, increasing joint movement and normalize nerve and blood flow to reduce pain.