What is Electrotherapy?
Electrotherapy (and the use of electrotherapy machines) is an FDA approved therapy that can be applied in a variety of treatment modalities and includes the use of electrical machines such as the deep mind stimulators that are used for the neurological diseases. This term also has been applied to the use of electric currents to speed up wound healing. In addition, the term called “electrotherapy” and also “electromagnetic therapy” can also be applied to ranges of alternative devices used in the medical field and treatments. The two most common modalities used for electrotherapy are Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and iontophoresis.
How does it work?
The TENS units are usually used to reduce pain by stimulating proprioception nerve threads to block or slow the broadcast of pain indicators. Iontophoresis is defined as the movement of ions through biological material under the influence of an electric current. It is transdermal electrotherapy which uses a drug-carrying electrode that delivers direct waves to the affected area to deliver the medication deeper into the tissue. The drug’s ionic charge allows stimulation healing.
Electro Frequency therapy is one of the most widely researched and published therapies in the world. This therapy has delivered a drug-free, non-invasive and non-addictive solution to a sizeable number of health issues. It can even be used to simulate exercise thus providing passive exercise to those unable to perform the activities needed to provide the benefits of exercise (the elderly, weak, ill, quadriplegic). The calorie burning effect of the passive exercise is an added benefit even to the healthy!
Radio frequencies transformed into electrical impulses can be tuned to reverberate at the frequency that matches resonance that will produce the desired results. This includes frequencies in-tune with precise pathogens, viral agents, fungi, and bacteria to find and eliminate them. The therapy addresses issues from pain and nervous system therapy to mental and physical performance enhancement treatments. The possibilities and benefits are endless and the results are often immediate. Every day new systems are developed to improve the delivery of thousands of different frequencies, each frequency having its own special and unique benefit to a certain part of the human body. All therapeutic effects that can be produced in the tissue by electric current can be divided into two main groups: stimulating effects and healing effects.
These are induced by repeated depolarization and repolarization of excitable cells (nerve or muscle action impulses) for example, nerves and receptors as well as muscle cells. All currents that are able to depolarize and repolarize excitable cells can therefore produce stimulating effects. These are low-frequency currents, such as faradic, neo faradic, didynamic, high voltage, triangular, and ultra-stimulating currents, as well as amplitude-modulated middle frequency currents such as interferential currents or amplitude-modulated middle-frequency currents applied via two electrodes. Such repetitive depolarization and repolarization do not produce healing effects.
The following effects are stimulating effects:
- Muscle stimulation-skeletal muscles and smooth muscles
- Acceleration of reinnervation
- Edema reduction
- Challenge of metabolism
- Activation of lipolysis
- Influence on blood flow and lymph transport
- Activation of metabolism
These are produced in excitable and non excitable cells by: the shaking effect (using middle frequency current); sustained depolarization (using middle frequency current); transport of electric charge carriers (using direct effect); heat generation (using high frequency current).
The following are healing effects:
- Anti-inflammatory Influence on blood flow and lymph transport
- Edema reduction
- Acceleration of regeneration
- Activation of Metabolism through temporary cAMP formation
The use of the electrotherapy stimulating effects and the healing effects in the Gastro-intestinal tract and the Urogenital system provides for stimulation or inhibition depending on the frequency.
Gastro-intestinal tract Stimulating effects:
- Activation of the muscle pump
- Vasoconstriction of blood and lymph vessels (sympathetic stimulation)
- Vasodilatation of blood and lymph vessels (sympathetic fatigue)
- Activation of lipolysis.
Gastro-intestinal tract healing effects:
- Vasoconstriction of blood and lymph vessels (sustained depolarization)
- Facilitation of metabolism
- Facilitation of diffusion process
- Activation of metabolism (due to increase of cAMP formation)
- Dilution of pain mediators.
- Stimulation of tissue metabolism.
- Stimulation of local blood flow
- Improvement of the exchange between the intra-capillary and extra- capillary fluids
- Improvement of absorption in the tissue.
- Ultraviolet Irradiation
Activation of metabolism:
Release of noradrenaline from sympathetic nerve-endings resulting in a reaction of noradrenaline with receptors on the cell membrane. This triggers cAMP formation from ATP.
Electrotherapy is known for the treatment of pain associated with fractures, post-operative incisions, tendinitis or arthritic inflammation, muscle weakness or loss and depression. Pain sensation could be reduced in many cases by stimulation of primary afferent nerve fibers. Afferent fibers can be activated by electrical stimulation or by natural stimuli such as vibration. In pain management treatment through electrotherapy, four effects are known. Two are produced through depolarization and repolarization (stimulating effects). One is produced through the shaking effect and one through sustained depolarization (healing effects).
Stimulating effects include:
- Release of endorphins in the CNS
Healing Effect include:
- Pain fiber block
- Disruption of pain mediators
Pain relieving effects during and immediately after the treatment:
Counter irritation and pain fiber block are pain-relieving effects produced during the treatment.
Longer lasting pain relieving effects:
Endorphin release in the central nervous system and the disruption of pain mediators make sure that the pain relief lasts for a longer period.
In addition there are frequencies that can eliminate or correct other conditions that may be responsible for producing pain. These mechanisms include edema reduction, stimulation of metabolism and blood flow, as well as accelerating regeneration.
Effects on Skeletal muscles include:
- Muscle stimulation
- Muscle strengthening
- Muscle relaxation
Effects on Smooth (vascular) muscles:
- Vasoconstriction via stimulation of sympathetic nerve fibers
- Vasodilatation via block of fibers of sympathetic nervous system
- Vasodilatation via sustained depolarization of the vascular muscles
Benefits for Patients and Health Professionals
The ability of a clinician to reduce pain in a patient by using the patient’s own built-in neurobiological control mechanisms should be considered one of the great achievements of clinical medicine. It’s one of the best-proven ways for Healthcare Professionals to provide their patients effective and easy treatment for many problems and symptoms at one time.
The American Physical Therapy Association recognizes the using of Electrotherapy in these ways:
- Treating neuromuscular dysfunction
- Improves local blood flowing
- Improves the motor control
- Improves the strength
- Retards muscle atrophy
- Improvement range of joint movement
- Repair tissue
- Restorations of integrity of your dermal and connective tissues
- Enhances the microcirculation & protein synthesis which heals wounds
- Improvement joint mobility range
- Induction repeated stretching the shortened, contracted soft tissues
- Peripheral flowing of blood
- Induces lymphatic, venous, and arterial flow
- Chronic and acute edema
Affecting the blood vessels absorptivity
- Increases the mobility of blood cells, lymphatic flow and proteins
- Accelerates the absorption rate
- Implanted cardiac pacemaker
- Acute local bacterial inflammatory process Tetany.
- Post-traumatic inflammation
- Sever types of arterial occlusive disease
- Thrombosis, thrombophlebitis
- Injuries of muscles, bones, tendons, joints
- Fresh wound and hematoma
- Abdominal area in pregnancy
- Carotid sinus area