Electrotherapy is the use of electrical energy as a physiotherapy treatment where healthcare professionals use treatments involving electrical impulses to influence the nervous system and muscle, affecting pain messages for pain management of different types of pain. Electrotherapy can be used as a pain treatment for chronic low back pain, as a stimulator for therapies relieving numbness, irritation, persistent acute pain and discomfort relieving musculoskeletal pains.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a commonly used non-pharmacologic and non-invasive treatment of Pain, TENS treatment involves the use of a mild electrical current with a frequency less than 10Hz to 150 Hz that reduces the pain felt from some conditions. They can be purchased online or from some Pharmacies for around £20-30 and used as a nerve stimulator for electrical muscle stimulation. One of these battery-powered devices is a method of pain relief for chronic back pain.
A TENS device is a small, battery-operated device that has leads connected to sticky pads called electrodes. These electrode pads are attached directly to your skin and the tens machine works when switched on sends small electrical pulses to the nerves, spinal cord and brain which can relieve pain. The pain relief occurs by modulating the number of pain signals the injured area sends to the brain and by activating the release of endorphins and other pain relief substances. The patient feels a small tingling sensation which should not be painful and most machines have different settings to allow you to choose one that suits you. The effectiveness of TENS varies with the clinical pain being treated by your physio, but research would suggest that when used correctly it provides significantly greater pain relief than a placebo intervention.
A TENS machine is not a cure for pain, and may only offer short term pain relief but a TENS machine is designed to treat many different kinds of pain ranging in short-term to long-term chronic ailments. Along with other Physiotherapy treatments, it can be an important part of your recovery as breaking the pain cycle can allow the stimulation of the healing process
IMPORTANT: Although this device can be prescribed to many different people for many different reasons, it is not suitable for everyone. It’s important to read fully the instructions provided with the machine before use and be aware of any side effects.
Ultrasound treatments have been used by physiotherapists since the 1940s using thermal and non-thermal effects. They have a mechanical effect on the tissues which can aid the healing process of soft tissue injuries. The settings allow your Physiotherapist to send the ultrasound waves to a specific depth and area size and the dose is altered accordingly to the stage of healing ie acute or subacute phase
Your Physiotherapist will use ultrasound alongside other physiotherapy techniques to encourage tissue repair and regeneration.
Ultrasound therapy causes mechanical vibrations, from high-frequency sound waves, on the skin and soft tissue via an aqueous medium. ultrasound is a safe treatment that has been used in physical therapy for many years. It provides heat to deep structures in the body, and it is thought that this heat helps improve the way that your body heals.
Also known as electrotherapy or microcurrent stimulation, microcurrent therapy has an emerging body of evidence behind it to support its role in tissue healing. Used to treat a wide variety of injuries, microcurrent therapy will apply electrical currents to specific parts of the body to help tissues heal faster while providing pain relief along the way.
Similar to a TENS machine it is attached via small sticky electrodes, but it differs in the type of electrical stimulation it provides. It is a low-level electrical excitation of the tissues, encouraging a faster pacer of tissue healing, particularly in patients who have 'lower battery power' where healing is taking longer. Some elite sports clubs are using this in their first aid and injury management programmes and are seeing good effects in the speed of return to sport. It is particularly helpful in long-standing tendon trouble such as Achilles tendonitis and tennis elbow, where together with a multi-modal Physiotherapy approach, the effects are impressive. Discuss with your Physiotherapist whether this is a treatment option for you.
Your body is a conductor of electricity that produces an electrical charge of its own. These tissues and cells in the body normally conduct electrical currents to communicate with one another, and your nervous system uses electricity to send signals throughout your body and brain. These signals allow us to move, think, and feel. When suffering from an injury the necessary signalling is deficient or missing. Without the proper signals between cells, your body can’t operate efficiently. Microcurrent therapy aims to restore the electromagnetic communication between cells in order to promote healing and provide relief from muscle pain or joint pain. A gentle approach enabling the body to respond appropriately.
TENS therapy uses mild electrical shocks which you can feel under the skin, microcurrent therapy uses electrical currents that are extremely weak, so you won’t feel a thing. TENS offers short-term relief from pain and inflammation, while microcurrent therapy offers long-term relief and healing properties. Microcurrent based therapy has supportive evidence of effectiveness across a wide range of clinical injuries
IMPORTANT: Please advise our physios if you believe that you could be pregnant and there are some other health problems where ultrasound would not be used so it is important to update your Physiotherapist fully on your medical conditions
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TENS is an abbreviation of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. A Tens machine may assist in modest short-term pain relief. Ultrasound aids tissue healing for soft tissue injuriesElectrotherapy
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