Modalities have been used for symptom control for many decades. Some have better effect than others. Some of these are believed to work via the gate theory of pain control or by improving circulation to the injured body part. Often times, physical therapy treatment and consultation are confused with physical therapy modalities or physical agents such as ultrasound, ice, heat, electrical stimulation, and light therapy. Physical therapists do sometimes use these modalities as part of their treatment. However, to say that the practice of physical therapy is applying modalities is similar to saying that the practice of medicine is only prescribing pain killers and giving shots. Some examples include

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