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1. Overview

Electrotherapy is a form of therapy that uses electrical stimulation to help the body heal and recover after being damaged.

Many experts believe that electrotherapy can keep the pain under control and help accelerate the healing process.


1. Overview
2. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
3. How does electrotherapy works?
4. Types of electrotherapy

2. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation

The most common form of transcutaneous electrotherapy is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS. TENS uses tiny electrodes are fixed to the skin.

Therapist who administers the treatment can adjust the intensity of electrical energy that flows through electrodes depending on the comfort level and type of treatment appropriate to the patient via a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation machine’s screen.

3. How does electrotherapy works?

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation works by blocking the signals that cross the nerves. Nervous messages have an electrical nature and the electricity that comes from TENS unit disrupt neurological signal.

Another benefit of using TENS unit, is that electricity stimulates the release of endorphins which are natural painkillers produced by the body.

Electrical therapy is quite controversial and there is little evidence that it works. Whatever the case, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation remains a commonly used technique for controlling back pain and enjoys widespread use.

Some patients say that this type of treatment does wonders for them, but often scientists speculate that this reaction could be a conditioned response or placebo.

4. Types of electrotherapy

In general, treatment with electrical stimulation provides a low current intensity perceived by the patient in the form of pulses, which acts on muscles and nerve endings.

This power determines constantly contracting and relaxing the muscles. Repeated stimulation can cause muscle strengthening and relaxation, which leads to decrease pain.

- There are several types of electrotherapy used today. The most common is the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. One of the advantages of transcutaneous electrical stimulation is that the device with which electrotherapy can be applied can be used at home (usually for back pain or muscle pain), which allows the patient to treat problems quite easily.

Frequency of electrical signal is adjustable, allowing matching intensity and treatment time. Frequency signal can be perceived by the patient for hours, being supportable for the patient, while the discomfort is reduced.

However, treatment involving the use of high frequency has a relatively short duration of time. Low-frequency TENS treatment is uncomfortable and can last between 20-30 minutes, but its effects are persistent while longer.

- Another type is called interferential therapy (IFT) and is essentially a deeper form of TENS, in which the current penetrates deeper into the skin than TENS treatment.

- Galvanic stimulation is another common type of electrotherapy and is used especially in the treatment of acute lesions, accompanied by bleeding or swelling. In this case, the electric current is applied directly to the area and can be used to stop inflammation and to accelerate healing.



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