There are several treatment modalities that may come under the umbrella of “electrotherapy”.
After assessement and discussion with you, your physiotherapist may recommend one of the following treatments, usually in a addition to a specifically targeted home exercise plan or other exercise therapy:
The process of healing from an injury, regardless of the tissue affected, involves a series of complicated steps within the body’s tissues. It is believed that the mechanical vibrations from the ultrasond machine can enhance the body’s ability to heal the tissues more efficiently.
The frequencies used in ultrasound are so high, that you should not feel the machine working at all. The physiotherapist will apply a cool gel to the affected area, but this gel is purely to help with transmission of the soundwaves through the surface of the skin. Basically it helps to get the treatment to the area where it is needed. If you feel discomfort at any point, please inform your physiotherapist.
Pulsed shortwave therapy
It is believed that this treatment uses the effects of an electric and magnetic field to improve the efficiency of the body’s healing processes in soft tissue injuries.
“The clinical effects of PSWT (pulsed shortwave therapy) are primarily related to the inflammatory and repair phases in muscuoskeletal / soft tissues. The effects list is remarkably similar to that of ultrasound.”
TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is a method of providing pain relief without medication. It works by stimulating the nerves to either distract them from sending pain signals to the brain, or by stimulating the brain to produce natural painkillers, which are stored within the body.
“TENS is most commonly delivered from small, hand held, battery powered devices. They can be purchased ‘over the counter’ in many (but not all) countries. In some locations, they need to be ‘prescribed’ by a therapist, doctor or other healthcare practitioner.”
Depending on your medical or musculoskeletal condition, electrotherapy can offer several key benefits:
Reduce nerve pain.
Promote healing of musculoskeletal injuries.
Have a non-invasive, drug-free pain control.
Prevent muscle atrophy.
Increase circulation for wound repair.
Have a minimal to no side effects.