Are you concerned about taking pain relief medication because of possible side effects and health risks? Consider electrotherapy, a non-invasive pain relief technology that has been used in clinical settings for many years.
What is Electrotherapy?
Electrotherapy is a physical therapeutic treatment whereby electrical stimulation is applied to nerves and muscle-motor fibres via electro-pads placed on the skin . There are different types of electrotherapeutic devices in rehabilitation clinics today, with T.E.N.S. being one of the most popular options. Electrotherapeutic programs, utilizing prescribed variations in electrical frequencies and intensities, serve to interrupt, alter or induce specific electrical impulses in order to affect the perception of pain and/or facilitate wound healing and muscle rehabilitation . These effects are achieved by:
The utilization of ultrasound has been a 20th century phenomenon. In addition to its use by the military to detect submarines, it was also used in the 1930's for emulsification, and atomization of particles in a gas. Since then, ultrasound has been used therapeutically for its effects of cavitation, stable and unstable bubble formation, and a phenomenon called acoustic streaming or microstreaming.
The main piece of equipment is a high-frequency generator, which provides an electrical current through a cable to a transducer which contains a piezoelectric crystal. This crystal when exposed to the current will vibrate at a given frequency, expanding and contracting, which produces the necessary compression wave. By using a different frequency the therapist can target tissues at different depths for either healing or destruction, or simply use the device to reduce pain. Although simple in principle, the use of ultrasound as a therapeutic modality requires a comprehensive understanding of its effects on the body tissues and of the physical mechanisms by which its effects are produced. The lower the frequency used, the deeper is the penetration of the waves into the body.