Physical agent modalities (PAMs), such as ultrasound, are used in hand & upper extremity therapy to prepare tissues to receive the best benefit of the therapeutic activities that follow (mobility, strengthening, manual therapy techniques). PAMs help
reduce swelling and inflammation
reduce pain and muscle spasm
decrease joint stiffness
improve scar mobility
enhance joint mobility and muscle performance
promote tissue healing.
Ultrasound uses the energy generated from an electrical current impulse hitting a crystal housed in a soundhead. The energy is transmitted into tissues through a water-based gel coupling agent. Depending upon the settings used, ultrasound can have both thermal (increasing tissue heat to a localized area) and non-thermal (circulation and swelling reduction) effects.