Electrotherapy in Physiotherapy
While thinking about the concept of electricity to be used in our body may seem to be uncomfortable and painful, but did you know that there is Electrotherapy that provides beneficial effects to the body. It offers a variety of physiotherapy treatment modalities such as Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation (TENS), Interferential Current Therapy (IFC), and Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS). And these modalities will support an existing physiotherapy movement.
A thorough assessment is needed to be done before applying these modalities. The physiotherapist will uncover first the real cause of pain. And, to find out if the type of modalities is applicable to the patient’s current condition.
At Evergreen Rehab and Wellness, we have Physiotherapists that will assist and help you in your recovery. And, as part of their physio treatment, they have applied electrotherapy.
What is Electrotherapy?
Electrotherapy is the electrical stimulation of tissues for therapeutic purposes. The therapy uses specific waves of a certain wavelength and frequency from the electromagnetic spectrum to produce the desired physiological and chemical changes in the body. Electrotherapy is used clinically to stimulate tissue healing, reduce pain and swelling, and restore normal muscle and joint function.
The Sports Medicine Resource Manual defined electrotherapy as the application of low-level electrical current within the peripheral nervous and musculoskeletal systems.
Types of Electrotherapy Modalities We offer
Electrotherapy modalities offered at Evergreen Clinic include Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), Interferential Current (IFC) and Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS).
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is among the modalities in electrotherapy that uses mild electric current which is vital in reducing the pain. It uses a TENS machine that involves a battery and sticky pads known as electrodes. This machine works when a physiotherapist attached the sticky pads to the skin of the person while it is switched on. Then it releases small electrical impulses which are transferred to the patient’s affected area. Then, a tingling sensation can be felt.
The electrical impulses helps in reducing the pain signals and provide relief to the patient and relax the muscles. It promotes the production of endorphins which are known to be the natural painkillers of the body.
This is commonly used for muscle, joint, and bone problems such as
- Low back pain
- Neck Pain
- Nerve related pain
- Other Chronic pain
Interferential Current Therapy (IFC)
Interferential current therapy involves a mild electrical current to reduce swelling, relieve pain, and stimulate the muscle. This treatment, can boost up the healing process of the body, relieve muscle spasms, and pelvic floor muscles.
It increases the blood flow in the body, which results in reducing swelling and pain relief. It also reduces muscle spasms and can help in treating muscle weakness and incontinence.
IFC is often used for the following conditions:
- Muscle strain and spasms
- Extreme Muscle Weakness
- Stress Incontinence
- Sports Injuries
- Joint damage
- Chronic pain caused by arthritis, surgery or injury
Electrical Muscle Stimulation
Electrical muscle stimulation or E-stim involves electrical pulses on the surface of the body, which mimics the actions coming from neurons and target muscles or nerves. It helps to reduce pain and to promote the healing process of injured muscles.
E-Stim is commonly used to treat the following conditions:
- Back pain
- Joint pain
- Muscle Injury due to trauma or disease
- Inflammation of the nerve
- Muscle Strength Improvement
- Surgery recovery
- Spinal cord injury
- Can help in prevention of muscle atrophy
Therapeutic Effects May Include:
Among the key benefits of electrotherapy are the following
- Reduction of Swelling
- Reduction pain
- Improve muscular function and strength
- Improvement of tissue healing
- Improving circulation
- Relief of Chronic Muscle Tightness