|How Electrotherapy Works?
Electrotherapy devices work in slightly different ways,
depending on what type of problem they are treating.
Certain devices excel at treating pain, while others
specialize in fluid movement.
Electrotherapy devices that help control both chronic
and acute pain fall into one of three categories:
Interferential, Microcurrent, or Transcutaneous
Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). Each type of
device works in a slightly different way, but they all
provide an effective, non-narcotic alternative or
supplement to drug therapy.
Interferential therapy devices use two separate
electrical frequencies that work together to stimulate
large impulse nerve fibers — ones that "close the
gate." Their frequencies interfere with the transmission
of pain messages at the spinal cord level, and help
block their transmission to your brain. Obviously, the
fewer pain messages that make it through, the less it
Microcurrent therapy is thought to mimic the body’s
own electrical system. It uses subtle current to build
upon naturally occurring impulses to decrease pain.
Microcurrent devices take what you already have and
make it stronger, amplifying your ability to heal.
TENS devices use a two-pronged approach to pain
relief. First, they target your sensory nerves,
stimulating them to block pain signals and prevent
their transmission to the brain. Second, TENS
promotes production of endorphins, the body’s natural
pain reducing substances. Because of its
effectiveness, TENS therapy is used to treat back and
cervical muscular and disc syndromes, RSD, arthritis,
shoulder syndromes, neuropathies and other painful
It’s a fact that exercise is good for you. Whether you’re
biking, walking or playing tennis, your movements are
a carefully choreographed series of muscular
contractions. Each contraction begins as an electrical
impulse generated by your body. Only through
repeated motion do your muscles stay strong and
When injury sets in, muscles become stationary. Fluid
builds up between the cells and they begin to lose
their strength. Electrotherapy has the ability to counter
these effects through neuromuscular stimulation
(NMS) and high or low voltage pulsed direct current
Neuromuscular Stimulation (NMS)
An injured muscle usually experiences little — if any —
movement. NMS therapy remedies this by using low-
voltages to stimulate motor nerves to cause
involuntary muscular contractions.
Like exercise, NMS helps to strengthen the injured
area and has been found to effectively treat a variety
of musculoskeletal and vascular conditions. Common
candidates for NMS therapy are patients recovering
from orthopedic surgery, muscle strains or tears, or
athletes who’ve undergone cartilage or tendon repair.
High or Low Voltage Direct Current Therapy
Injured tis sue s are often surrounded by an excess of
fluid, which prevents nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood
from reaching them. Pulsed direct current devices
remove excess fluid and increase blood flow to the
injured site to encourage rehabilitation.
Fluid (swelling) is primarily composed of negatively
charged proteins. Placing a positive electrode over the
injured site within the first 24-48 hours helps prevent
the buildup of excess fluid. Placing a negative
electrode over the injured site after the first day or two
causes the fluid to disperse from the site. This
treatment reduces swelling, allowing new blood to
move in and speeding up the recovery process.
Excessive fluid buildup, known as edema, is
detrimental to any healing process. Not only does it
cause swelling around the injured area, but it also
prevents removal of waste products and hinders
circulation. Electrotherapy uses Interferential, NMS,
and high or low voltage pulsed direct current devices
to move excess fluid from injured areas.
Interferential therapy uses two independent
frequencies that deeply penetrate muscles and
stimulate parasympathetic nerve fibers for increased
blood flow. Like hundreds of tiny rivers, these vessels
and capillaries quickly flush out old waste and usher in
High or Low Voltage Pulsed Direct Current
High voltage pulsed direct current therapy utilizes two
oppositely charged electrodes to move the plasma
proteins, which comprise excess fluid and leak into
spaces between cells. Initially, the stimulus prevents
fluid buildup. Later, using a different protocol, it repels
fluid that has built up.
Neuromuscular therapy induces muscle contractions
which pump fluid through both the venous & lymphatic
systems. This helps to resolve the swelling or fluid
buildup in the area. NMS devices have the ability to
increase or decrease the strength of each muscular