What is modality?

Within healthcare, modality refers to a method of treatment, a piece of equipment, or an interventional strategy. Modalities are utilized in order to assist patients with various conditions or injuries.

Modalities can vary depending on the medical field. For example, some common modalities in oncology may be chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery. As for physical therapy, common modalities in this field will instead include ultrasounds, hot packs, and massages.

The purpose of a modality can also vary. Some may be utilized to reduce a patient’s pain, while others may improve the patient’s overall health.

Some other examples of modalities include:

  • electrotherapy
  • traction
  • hot and cold therapy
  • stretching exercises
  • joint mobilization

Why are modalities important in healthcare?

Modalities help to make patients more comfortable and improve their quality of life.

Some ways that modalities accomplish this include:

  • decreasing inflammation
  • relieving pain
  • decreasing muscle spasms and muscle atrophy
  • reducing joint stiffness
  • enhancing soft tissue healing
  • treating a condition

Modalities also refer to the devices and equipment utilized within medical imaging, such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasounds, and computer tomography (CT) scans. These modalities help physicians diagnose conditions, monitor their progression, and devise treatment plans.