Athletic Training 420

ATTR 420: Therapeutic Modalities

Prerequisite: ATTR 323 and cumulative GPA of 3.0; or permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (4)

Enables students to study the effects, advantages, disadvantages, indications, contradictions, precautions, and application parameters of therapeutic modalities in injury rehabilitation of the physically active. Emphasis is placed on treatment modalities available to athletic trainers in clinical settings.

Note(s): Students cannot receive credit for both ESHE 365 and ATTR 365.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course is designed to provide students with experience in both the didactic and psychomotor aspects of injury rehabilitation with the use of modalities. Special emphasis is given to the decision-making processes involved with modality selection and parameter adjustment.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Students will be taught in a variety of situations including lecture, problem solving sessions and hands on experiences. Students work in groups to learn skills and will assess the skills of other class members.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. Describe, diagram and explain the concept of pain and current theories on how it is transmitted.
2. Compare and contrast the major pain control theories and associated rational for the methods employed in the control of acute and chronic pain.
3. Describe the physiological process of wound healing as it relates to modality usage and selection.
4. Explain the systemic and local physiological effects of heat and cold on normal and traumatized tissues of the body.
5. Define and explain the basic principles of electrophysics associated with the use of electric modalities (frequency, wavelength, amperes, volts, watts, etc.).
6. Explain the therapeutic indications and contraindications associated with heat, cold, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, diathermy, traction, therapeutic massage, and intermittent compression, and therapeutic laser.
7. Demonstrate the patient preparation, administration and dosage regulation of each modality listed above.
8. Appropriately select parameters of an electrical stimulation devised for sensory-level pain control treatment, noxious-level pain control treatment, motor-level pain control treatment, muscle re-education, muscle pumping, muscle atrophy retardation, acute edema treatment, muscle splinting/spasm treatment, iontophoresis treatment.
9. Demonstrate the proper way to write a paper using APA format.
10. Identify a variety of methods used to do a literature review.
11. Interpret current research in athletic training and/or physical therapy.   
12. Use standard criteria (eg: PEDRO scale) to critically appraise the structure, rigor and overall quality of research articles.
13. Describe the concepts for third-party insurance reimbursement including the use of diagnostic (ICD-9-CM) and procedural coding (CPT).
14. Explain basic legal concepts as they apply to a medical practitioner’s responsibilities.


Assessment measures may include one or more of the following:

1. Written examination
2. Oral/Practical examination
3. Written project
4. Student presentations

Additional Course Information



Review and Approval

Revised 2012

September 2002 New Course Jon Poole

March, 2010