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Course Description

Physical Agent Modalities (PAMs) for the Rehab Professional (Blue Track) is designed to educate occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants in the use of electro-physical agents in the areas of electrical stimulation (pulsed, alternating, and direct current), and superficial and deep thermal agents.

The biophysical principles of each physical agent will be presented. The physiologic effects, indications, precautions and contraindications will be emphasized, along with the best current practices. The appropriate selection and application of physical agents, based on the existing pathology, impairments, and functional limitations will be discussed, demonstrated, and performed by participants. Safe and effective parameter selection, dosing of intensity, and documentation of treatment will be emphasized during the lecture and laboratory portions of the course.

This course will prepare the participant in the theory of and clinical application of transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS), neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), functional electrical stimulation (FES), iontophoresis, phonophoresis, and continuous and pulsed therapeutic ultrasound. The course includes lectures, laboratory sessions and case studies.

The course length and content has been designed to meet the Physical Agent Modalities didactic training requirements for Occupational Therapists in the following states:
- FL, ID, MD, MN
- NOTE:  Courses held in Illinois meet the didactic training requirements for ID, IL and MN

*Courses held in Illinois (IL) will cover 12 hours of Estim and 3 hours of Ultrasound as required by Section 1315.162 of the Illinois OT Practice Act. Click here for Illinois Agenda
*Courses held in Maryland (MD) will NOT cover Superficial Agents. instead, Case Studies will be discussed during the final 60 minutes of day 2.

Appropriate Disciplines: This course is open to Athletic Trainers, OT/COTAs and PT/PTAs.
Course Level: Introductory
Instructional Methods: Lecture, Demonstration, Hands-On Labs, Case Studies, Problem Solving
Assessment Methods: Hands on Lab Observation, Quiz

Please bring lab attire that allows for access to the shoulder (e.g. loose fitting t-shirt, tank top etc.)
Equipment and electrodes are provided for hands-on labs. Each participant will receive a course manual at check-in.

PRICING: Group pricing may be established by submitting the number of registrations listed in the pricing drop down above.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the characteristics of commonly used waveforms
  • Select the most appropriate modality and parameter settings to trigger physiological responses
  • Inhibit pain using Gate Control Theory and by stimulating the release of Endorphins
  • Inhibit sympathetic nervous system tone
  • Facilitate and inhibit muscle recruitment
  • Select the appropriate protocol to strengthen muscle tissue
  • Discuss terminology and principles related to the application of ultrasound
  • Discuss indications and contraindications of thermal agents, therapeutic ultrasound, and electrical stimulation
  • Identify common myths and errors in parameter selection and application of ultrasound therapy
  • Discuss clinically relevant research that will guide participants in selecting parameters of treatment that yield more predictable thermal and non-thermal responses in human tissue
  • Select dosage for therapeutic ultrasound based on tissue healing stages and desired therapeutic outcome.
  • Describe and apply surface biofeedback (sEMG)

Joe Gallo


Dr. Joe Gallo earned his BS in Physical Education and Athletic Training and his Master’s in Physical Therapy. He also holds a Doctor of Science degree in Physical Therapy. He currently serves as Director and Professor in the Salem State University Athletic Training Program. He also held faculty appointments in various physical therapy and physical therapist assistant programs in his over 20 year career as an educator. Dr. Gallo is currently a Certified Instructor for the VitalStim® Therapy Specialty Program teaching NMES for the treatment of dysphagia. He has taught over 300 continuing education workshops to rehabilitation specialists across the United States. Joe’s research on electrophysical agents has been published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, and the Chinese journal of Sportsmedicine. In addition to his teaching and research, Joe has also maintained clinical practice in a variety of settings throughout his career.

Financial Disclosures: Dr. Gallo receives an honorarium for speaking/teaching live courses through CIAO Seminars. He also receives royalties for the purchase of his recorded courses and the purchase of his Ultrasound book.
Non-Financial Disclosures: Dr. Gallo uses modalities in his clinical practice.

Day 1

12:00 - 12:01
**Courses held in IL have a different Agenda - Click the Course Description tab to find "Illinois Agenda" link
08:00 - 08:15
Course Introduction - Review of electro-physical agents
08:15 - 10:00
Electrotherapy: History, types, concepts, waveforms
10:00 - 10:15
10:15 - 12:00
Electrotherapy: Indications
12:00 - 01:00
Lunch (on your own)
01:00 - 02:00
Electrotherapy: Procedures, Clinical Applications, Physiological Effects
02:00 - 03:00
Electrotherapy: Precautions, contraindications, patient education, examples, rationale, research
03:00 - 03:15
03:15 - 05:30
Electrotherapy Lab (Procedures - parameters, placement, dosing, protocols, and case studies)

Day 2

08:00 - 10:00
Ultrasound: History, terminology, indications, physiological effects
10:00 - 10:15
10:15 - 11:15
Evidenced-based dosimetry of ultrasound for thermal, nonthermal, and phonophoresis treatments
11:15 - 12:00
Ultrasound: Precautions, contraindications, safety, patient education
12:00 - 01:00
Lunch (on your own)
01:00 - 02:15
Ultrasound Lab: Procedures, parameters, placement, dosing, protocols
02:15 - 02:30
02:30 - 03:30
03:30 - 04:30
Superficial Thermal Agents: History, principles of energy transfer, safety, indications, physiological effects, contraind
03:30 - 04:30
MD- Electrotherapy and Ultrasound Case Studies

Delivery VIA:

  • Live By Request - This course is available to come to you! Contact us to see how easy that can be. mail@ciaoseminars.com

Contact hours pre-approved for:

  • 15.0 Hrs.
  • CIAO is a BOC Approved Provider #P2881 (ATs)
  • This program is eligible for a maximum of 15 Category A hours/CEUs. ATs should claim only those hours actually spent in the educational program.
  • CIAO is an AOTA Approved Provider #AAWA (OT/COTAs)
  • This course meets PDU requirements for NBCOT (18.7 PDUs Clinical Lab Assessment)
  • CIAO is an Illinois Approved Provider for PT/PTA Continuing Education
  • CIAO is recognized as an Approved Provider for PT/PTAs by the NYSE Dept State Board for PT
  • This activity is provided by the TX Board of PT Examiners Accredited Prov. #2202009#TX
  • This activity meets the continuing competence requirements for PT/PTA license renewal in TX
  • The Physical Therapy Board of California recognizes CIAO Seminars as an Approval Agency to Approve Providers Offering Continuing Competency Courses
  • The Physical Therapy Board of California has determined that CIAO meets the standards set forth in section 1399.95 of the CA Code of Regulations
  • CIAO is a Rule Approved Provider for the Florida Board of Physical Therapy
  • CIAO is an Approved Provider for the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy
  • Pre Approved for:
  • 15 Hrs PT/PTAs in CA(CIAO22-25), IL, MD, TX(15 CCUs, APTA#2202009TX)
  • 18 Hrs PT/PTAs in NY
  • 18 Hrs OT/COTAs and PT/PTAs in FL (CEBroker #20-363423)

The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.

CIAO is recognized on the NBCOT Provider Registry (meets PDU requirements for NBCOT)

CIAO is approved by the Board of Certification, Inc. to offer continuing education for Certified Athletic Trainers.


"I wish my facility had the equipment used during this course so these modalities could be applied in the short term."

- Baltimore, MD / Apr 2023

"Great course and instructor, great layout of information , able to learn a lot in a 2-day period of time"

- Baltimore, MD / Apr 2023

"This course is hands on which really helped me understand how to properly use PAMs. Joe Gallo made sure any/all questions were answered and was very helpful."

- Baltimore, MD / Apr 2023

"Joe was a very good presenter providing evidence-based information. He is very encouraging to let us learn and explore with hands-on learning. "

- Baltimore, MD / Aug 2022

"Really enjoyed this course! Worth it!"

- Baltimore, MD / Aug 2022

"Great speaker. Better understanding of modalities used. One of the better modality courses that I have taken. "

- Baltimore, MD / Aug 2022

"This was truly one of the best courses I have ever attended. Joe was engaging and extremely knowledgeable. It's not easy to be stimulated for 16 hours but this course did it! Thank you so much for sparking my clinical knowledge and creativity. "

- Baltimore, MD / Aug 2022

"Joe and Lynas are a wonderful team! I learned so much and am so impressed with everything. This is the best CE course I've taken, hands down."

- Linthicum Heights, MD / Dec 2015

"Perfect balance of lecture, lab & case studies."

- Linthicum Heights, MD / Dec 2015

"good presenter kept things interesting"

- Linthicum Heights, MD / Dec 2015

"Presenter was very knowledgeable and clear. Very dynamic. This course was very fun with lots of practical applications. I would recommend this course to others and will look for more courses from this presenter."

- Chicago, IL / Jun 2013

"enjoyed, learned what I came to the course for. Small group was great. "

- Chicago, IL / Jun 2013

"Good course, small class (size helps)"

- Chicago, IL / Jun 2013

"Joseph was one of the best teachers I have ever had. he made some pretty complicated and possibly dry information very interesting/applicable int he clinic. Excellent speaker."

- Chicago, IL / Jun 2013

"It may be helpful to include more updated literature references in presentation."

- Chicago, IL / Jun 2013

"Everything was great! I really enjoyed this course! Dr. Gallo really presented and taught the course well!"

- Chicago, IL / Jun 2013

"Awesome instructor, very knowledgeable and great class size."

- Chicago, IL / Jun 2013

"Excellent presentation, very organized, followed agenda and handout lecture, very patient and knowledgeable. "

- Chicago, IL / Jun 2013

"I was looking forward to learning the information but not looking forward to sitting in class for 2 days. Joes presentation maintained my attention for 2 days, made PAM an interactive experience, and delivered the information in a manner that was very easy to comprehend for the most part."

- Baltimore, MD / Oct 2012