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The Advantages of Using Physical Agent Modalities in Therapy

May 12, 2023 | 0 comments

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May 12, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments


Physical agent modalities are quite useful in therapy and have often been used for treatment for many years. This kind of therapy includes activating the tissues and stimulating them by sending frequencies and energy. Majority of the critiques of PAMs often indicate that is more of a trial and error form of treatment. However, scientific research has been conducted perfecting the use of PAMs and the advantages of the same. Questions have often arisen over dosages and frequencies of the treatment that should be employed towards treatment of specific illnesses. However as (Bracciano 2008) shows, PAMs are important and quite effective in an exclusive and comprehensive form of treatment.

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Role of Physical agent modalities in therapy

Individuals, who are suffering from decreased muscle stimulation and poor control of muscles, are often the greatest beneficiaries of PAMs. In the first era, electrical stimulation one of the forms of PAMs was designed and used to stimulate nerve endings for individuals whose movement was decreased and sometimes stagnated. Science has discovered that deadening of nerves causes muscles to become immovable limiting productivity of the individual. In some cases, muscles that have not moved for many years or even months can develop chronic pain when attempts to use them are made. This is especially the case for individuals who have either been injured, forcing them to keep away from using particular muscles. In addition, individuals who have been in a coma, who have been under need rest, often find that any single movement, simple as it might be causes excruciating pain. Electoral therapy applies the use of nodes through which electrical energy is delivered to the muscle ends and nerve endings. It is expected that the delivery of this energy will indeed stimulate the nerve ending and muscles causing them to become more flexible. In this form of therapy pain is greatly reduced. This allows the patient to be able to voluntarily move their muscles, without experiencing much pain. It is often considered a form of re-education, where through the use of electricity the muscles are trained to re-perform the functions that they were designed for and were formerly able to do.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation commonly known as TENs, is a famous form of therapy in which pain is reduced by activating the nerves so that they are able to control pain by themselves. Chronic pain especially unending pain, is often the result of the inability of nerves to control stimulation and therefore set on pain. This form of treatment is ideal for treatment of neuromuscular disease which often causes extreme pain. In the past, individuals have had to suffer through excruciating pain and discomfort sometimes causing much discomfort. Tens is used to stimulate, reactivate the nerves and rebuild the system to allow for easier movement. The high voltage is ideal for neuromuscular treatment, softening the muscles so that further interventions can be made. Braddom and Buschbacher (2007) indicate that one the major concerns for muscle atrophy and other similar diseases is circulation. When blood does not get into the muscles, they lose strength and mobility. They become stiff and often quite painful in any form of movement. Doctors previously had trouble introducing any form of therapy to such patients. This is simple because they had trouble managing the pain patients had to endure, majority of the patients gave up on any form of treatment because they could not withstand the pain. Managing any form of treatment would mean that the patient would have to be issued strong forms of pain management, majority of which do not work. With TENs however, management of pain becomes possible, restructuring of muscles is made easier and therefore introduction of other forms of therapy quite possible.

Perhaps the one thing that PAMs assists greatly in, but is often less than recognized by majority of the therapists and doctors is the treatment of wounds. Recently, the United States government shut down any form of wound treatment that would include negative pressure. These forms of therapy have been found to be detrimental to the future of the patient especially where such wounds are internal such as stomach ulcers (Starkey 2004) . On the other hand, PAMs allows the introduction of positive energy which in turn activates the healing process. What is most unique is that this form of treatment is often directed at the wound itself and includes the surrounding area that may have been traumatized by injury and the presence of the wound. In addition, the wounds often heal much faster with the body naturalizing the treatment process. Nothing negative is introduced, sound waves are introduced and because they are quite stable and easy to use, they are able to bring recovery to any injured tissue underneath the skin. The use of sound is evident in transforming sound into energy which is the most important aspect in healing of wounds, terminal or otherwise.

For a long time, muscle spasms have been difficult to treat. Individuals who are suffering from seizures have had to endure extreme treatment methods. Families and the patients themselves often go deep into any form of treatment with the aim of reducing seizures and allowing them to live a productive life without much worry. Seizures are often caused by negative messages that are sent to the brain’s neuro -system. Unfortunately, majority of the options that are present are not sufficient, sustainable or even easy to sue. Patients are often forced to endure difficult treatment options, majority of which are not even guaranteed to work. Recent research into light therapy , a form of treatment which involves long term exposure to small amounts of energy, this relieves stillness in small shifts. It allows the brain to awaken and to begin to work slowly by sending the right stimulation. Over time, the exposure to stimulations allows the patient to not only reduce the frequency and strength of the seizures but to also manage any form of muscle pain. Indeed, they are able to control their muscles with exposure to a few sessions of light therapy. Through localized energy dispersal and tissue temperature, patients are often able to manage their conditions and indeed lead a productive life.


PAMs is often used concurrently with other forms of treatment. Scientifically speaking, PAMs cannot replace true therapy. In fact, used alone PAMs is far from effective and often leads to a patient becoming resistant to therapy. PAMs is used to support other forms of therapy, as encourages and prescribed by the doctor. In addition, for patients seeking out the support of PAMs it is important to seek out trained therapists. The right devices, tools and dosage of PAMs is quite effective in hastening the treatment process.


Bracciano, A. G. (2008). Physical agent modalities: Theory and application for the occupational therapist. Thorofare, NJ: SL

Braddom, R. L., & Buschbacher, R. M. (2007). Physical medicine & rehabilitation. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.

Starkey, C. (2004). Therapeutic modalities. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Co.

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