This course provides an overview of physical agent modalities including ultrasound, diathermy and electrical stimulation. Description, parameters, indications, precautions, contraindications and clinical decision making are reviewed for each. Evaluation, treatment planning, documentation and treatment planning are also discussed.
Many patients come to physical therapy for treatment of physical conditions including pain, joint stiffness or contracture, edema and the like. Physical agent modalities are a practical adjunct to manual therapy techniques to address these issues. In this seminar, a description of each modality is provided with rationale for physical therapy treatment for each. Specific parameters based on treatment physical therapy treatment objectives are reviewed for each modality as well as indications, contraindications and precautions for using in the clinic. Physical therapy evaluation procedures are reviewed in detail to aid the PT in choosing the most appropriate modality for the presenting condition. Additionally, documentation is highlighted to ensure compliance with Medicare guidelines to minimize risk of denied physical therapy services. Treatment protocols for various conditions physical therapy might treat are presented and then reinforced through detailed case study presentations.