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Therapeutic Modalities in the Management of Sports Injuries

February 19, 2016

Contributors: Catherine Anne Logan, MD, MBA, PT; Daniel Haber, MD; Ashley J Tisosky, MD; Adam Edward Roy, BA; CAPT (Ret) Matthew T. Provencher, MD MC USNR

The surgical and nonsurgical management of orthopaedic sports injuries benefit from effective collaboration of the treating surgeon, a physical therapist, and the patient. Physician to physical therapist communication often does not include specific therapeutic modality prescription and a large variation in practice patterns for the use of therapeutic modalities exists. There is a myriad of therapeutic modalities including cyrotherapy, thermotherapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and iontophoresis used to reduce pain, improve mobility, and restore strength and function. These modalities are used in conjunction with rehabilitation exercise protocols to maximize function and to allow patients to achieve their functional and athletic goals. An understanding of the basic principles and clinical indications for each of these modalities enables surgeons to better communicate with therapists to promote successful rehabilitation.

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