7. Rehabilitation Physical Modalities

  1. M. Christine Zink DVM, PhD, Dipl ACVP and
  2. Janet B. Van Dyke DVM
  1. Krista Niebaum MPT, CCRT

Published Online: 28 JUN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118783443.ch7

Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

How to Cite

Zink, M. C. and Van Dyke, J. B. (2013) Rehabilitation Physical Modalities, in Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., West Sussex, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118783443.ch7

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 JUN 2013
  2. Published Print: 11 APR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780813812168

Online ISBN: 9781118783443



  • canine rehabilitation;
  • cryotherapy;
  • extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT);
  • low–level laser therapy (LLLT);
  • neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES);
  • physical modalities;
  • superficial thermal agents;
  • therapeutic ultrasound;
  • transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)


Physical modalities can be used to complement a patient's rehabilitation treatment plan and achieve the therapeutic goals. This chapter presents a general overview of the physical modalities most commonly used in canine rehabilitation with a goal of assisting the therapist in determining if and when their use may improve treatment outcome. The modalities discussed are cryotherapy and superficial heating (superficial thermal agents), neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), therapeutic ultrasound, low-level laser therapy (LLLT), and extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT). The fundamentals of each modality are covered including mechanisms of action, evidence supporting their use, and recommendations regarding clinical applications including indications and contraindications. Two case studies are also included to illustrate the importance of thorough assessment and re-assessment of the patient throughout the treatment course to ensure appropriate use of physical modalities.