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Ultrasound has been approved by the FDA for a wide variety of therapeutic uses, including fracture healing, thrombus dissolution, and the treatment of plantar fasciitis and epicondylitis. In most ultrasound applications, a hand-held transducer is moved in a circular motion over an injured area. The transducer produces sound waves too high-pitched for humans to hear, and those waves heat tendons, muscles and other tissues to improve blood flow and hasten the healing process.

Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation, or E-stim, is the general term for several modalities that involve electrodes attached to a patient’s skin. These modalities can be used for both pain relief and functional improvements, even in cases involving neurological disorders.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation

Commonly referred to as TENS, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is a type of E-stim used to manage acute and chronic pain. While researchers haven’t concluded its exact mechanisms of action, it is thought that various frequencies activate various pain receptors, sending non-painful stimuli through injured tissues and into the nervous system.

Moist Heat

Moist heat is another form of superficial heat therapy, and in most cases therapists will simply apply damp heat packs to injured areas. It works via the same mechanisms as dry heat, but several studies suggest that moist heat penetrates deeper and faster into injured tissues and facilitates more significant functional improvements.

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