Introduction to Electrotherapy: Benefits, Use, and Types

Introduction to Electrotherapy: Benefits, Use, and Types

Electrical stimulation for pain control was used in ancient Rome, 63 A.D. From the 16th to 18th centuries various electrostatic devices were used for headaches and other pains.

Electrotherapy refers to the use of electrical energy as a medical treatment. It uses electrical signals to interfere with the transmission of neural pain signals into the brain. It effectively slows down or distracts the message from the nerve to the brain. As per a physiotherapy point of view, affecting a person’s ‘Pain Gate’ is considered to be a very important part of the treatment, whether in an acute or chronic pain condition. Where other conventional medicines do not seem to be effective, Electrotherapy turns out to be a lifesaver. Electrotherapy can also involve the use of this electric current to speed the tissue healing process in the damaged area. TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) and Interferential therapy are two basic important forms of Electrotherapy.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS

TENS is widely used around the world to treat a variety of painful conditions such as Arthritis, Low back pain, Labour pain, Nerve related pain (for example, phantom pain).

A small electrical device delivers electrical impulses across the skin. It is connected by wires to sticky pad electrodes, which are placed on the skin in the area of the pain. This allows a small low-intensity electric charge to pass across the area. TENS can work in two ways – high frequency and low frequency, depending upon the patient’s condition.

Unlike most of the pain-relieving drugs, TENS is not addictive and has relatively lower side-effects. Most people can use a TENS machine but it does not really go well for people suffering from pacemakers, certain heart diseases, Epileptics, certain skin conditions and certain body sites in pregnancy.

Interferential Therapy

Interferential therapy (IFT) is essentially a deeper form of TENS.  It makes use of two high-frequency currents which are slightly out of phase, and are passed through the skin at the same time where they are set up in a manner that their paths cross and thereby interfere with each other. This interference gives way to a beat frequency which has the characteristics of low-frequency stimulation deep under the skin.

IFT is administered by a professional physiotherapist and involves the placement of damp sponges on the body which delivers a mild current similar to the sensation of pins and needles. There are 4 main clinical benefits for which IFT has proved to be effective:

  • Providing pain relief
  • Muscle stimulation
  • Increase local blood flow
  • Reduce oedema

Indo Global Physiotherapy Pvt Ltd

Electrotherapy is used as a supplement to traditional physiotherapy treatments. The TENS units are available for sale or hire from Indo Global Physiotherapy Pvt Ltd. Our experienced and skilled physiotherapists can also provide you with effective Electrotherapy at home as well as at the clinic. They can also guide you on the correct programmes for use depending on your condition. Many of our physiotherapists will recommend the use of Electrotherapy in the provision of their treatments. Book an appointment today, contact us at 0124-4197463 or 9711631785. Moreover, you can go through our website reviews at Visit us at Indo Global Physiotherapy clinic address – 68P, Basement, Sector – 46, Gurgaon, Haryana.