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Pain Management: Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an integral part of our pain program. Through physical therapy we will help you restore function and improve your quality of life. We will also educate you about proper body mechanics and prevention of repetitive injury.

Link all of the bulleted items to sections below.

  • Deep Tissue Laser
  • Ultra Sound
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Phonophoresis
  • Iontophoresis
  • Kinesio Taping
  • Occupational Therapy
  • TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
  • Cold Laser
  • Mechanical Traction
  • Fluidiotherapy
  • Stretching
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Joint Mobilization
  • Massage
  • Heat and Cold Therapy
  • Aquatic Therapy
  • Education and self-management techniques

    Deep Tissue Laser
    Deep Tissue laser is a therapy that works at the cellular level to ease pain in the treatment of arthritis, tendonitis and sports injuries. In addition to physical therapy, many patients benefit from the use of the LCT-1000 Therapy Laser®.

    This new modality allows us to use laser therapy to deliver light energy into the part of the patient’s body that is experiencing pain. When the light interacts with damaged cells, cell respiration is improved, inflammation reduced, and nerve conduction slowed for immediate relief from pain. Patients have said it provides instant relief of swelling and pain and has improved healing times. Hunterdon Medical Center’s Physical and Occupational Therapy offices are the first in Hunterdon County to offer this laser therapy by LiteCure, LLC.

    This therapy has not only helped people with arthritis, but also relieved back, neck, hand, and musculoskeletal pain, recent sports injuries, inflammation and tendonitis.

    Laser therapy can be used alone, but most often is introduced as an adjunct to therapeutic exercise. The combination of the two modalities has seen positive results from our patients and has promoted faster healing. What is unique about this form of therapy is that it continues to work even after the patient leaves the office.

    For more information on the LCT-1000 Therapy Laser® call Hunterdon Medical Center’s Physical and Occupational Therapy office at 908-782-7454.

    Physical therapist can use ultrasound to help a patient with pain. Ultrasound uses sound waves to generate heat within a body part. The therapist rubs a sound head on the body part in a circular motion to generate heat in that joint. The heat helps improve blood flow circulation. It can also loosen up tissues to allow them to respond better to Ultrasound can also be helpful in acute injuries for non-thermal effects, meaning no heat is generated, but it can help increase blood flow so that way inflammation or swelling can be reduced.

    Electric Stimulation
    Electrical stimulation is a treatment used at the Hunterdon Sports and Physical Therapy Center to reduce pain, inflammation and swelling. It is used as part of physical therapy to help strengthen weak muscles.

    Phonophoresis is an anti-inflammatory treatment that uses ultrasound waves to help pass medicine through the skin and into an injured body part. Phonophoresis is used most often in the treatment of inflammation in a muscle, tendon, ligament or other soft tissue in the body.

    Iontophoresis is a technique for delivering medication through the skin using an electrical current. The current carries the compounds through the skin and into the blood stream. This is another way of delivering medication to a specific area other than orally or with a needle injection. The type of medication used will be based on the desired effect to the treated area but must have a specific positive or negative charge. Some of the most common indications include: inflammation, edema, bone spurs/calcium deposits, fungal infections, scars, wounds, and muscle spasms.

    Kinesio Taping
    Kinesio Taping is a taping technique used to reduce pain and inflammation, relax overused muscles, promote healing, and to facilitate muscles in movement. It allows for full range of motion and function, unlike traditional sports tape and provides joint alignment, stabilization and support.

    Occupational Therapy
    Hunterdon Medical Center offers Occupational Therapy to patients both pre-operatively and post-operatively. Our specialists located at the Sand Hill and Washington physical therapy locations are certified to evaluate and treat injuries of the hands, wrists and elbows.

    Transelectric Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
    Transelectrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS) is a treatment therapy offered by the Hunterdon Sports and Physical Therapy Center used to block pain receptors. If this treatment is warranted, the therapist will evaluate your condition and assist you in securing a unit for home use through a vendor.

    Cold Laser
    Cold Laser Therapy or Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a treatment that helps to accelerate the healing process. The therapist uses a handheld device to direct a laser over the injured area. Cold laser can be used to treat a variety of conditions to help eliminate pain and swelling, reduce spasms and increase functionality.

    Mechanical Traction
    Mechanical Traction is a non-surgical procedure for relieving low back, neck, arm, and leg pain. It is also an effective alternative for patients suffering with carpal tunnel syndrome and herniated or degenerated discs. It reduces the pressure on discs through a gentle traction force, allowing for improved circulation and exchange of fluids within the disc.

    Fluidized Therapy is the use a dry heated air stream that has the properties of a liquid. It performs the functions of applied heat, massage, sensory stimulation, levitation, and pressure oscillations. Use of fluidized therapy is an alternative to other heat therapy techniques in reducing pain, edema, and muscle spasms.

    Stretching helps to increase flexibility and joint range of motion, improves circulation, strengthens muscles, relieves stress and enhances coordination. All of these benefits of stretching have positive effects on pain and mood.

    Therapeutic Exercise
    Therapeutic exercise is physical therapy done under the direction of a physical therapist and can include a broad range of activities designed to reduce pain and improve musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary or neurologic function. Physical therapists assist patients in designing programs to prevent injury or reinjury. In addition, physical therapists use therapeutic exercise as to improve function and well being in those who are experiencing pain, limitations or disability.

    Joint Mobilization
    Joint mobilization is a manual therapy intervention, a type of passive movement of a skeletal joint. It is usually aimed at a 'target' synovial joint with the aim of achieving a therapeutic effect. When applied to the spine, it is known as spinal mobilization.

    Massage is effective for reducing pain and promoting natural relaxation. Massage can even trigger the release of endorphins, which raises a patient’s threshold for pain. Some types of massage also help improve mood through the release of oxytocin and serotonin.

    Heat and Cold Therapy
    Heat and cold are the two most common types of pain-relief therapies for muscle and joint pain. Ice will decrease the blood flow to a new the injury, thereby decreasing inflammation and swelling. Pain that recurs can be treated with heat, which will bring blood to the area and promote healing.

    Aquatic Therapy
    Aquatic therapy is a form or therapeutic exercise performed in the water. It uses the resistance of water instead of weights, taking excess pressure off joints for better results. Aquatic therapy is offered at the Hunterdon Health and Wellness Centers in Clinton and Whitehouse Station.

    Education and Self-management Techniques
    Our physical therapists will provide information that will help you manage your pain. They will discuss strategies for dealing with the physical and emotional aspects of pain. They will teach you exercises for improving strength and flexibility. They will counsel you about your medications, nutrition and other healthy lifestyle topics.