Interferential electo therapy is the only kind of electro therapy our office offers. Our office has experimented with many different kind of electo therapy modalities but we find Interferential to be most effective and versatile. This machine produces electrical currents (~4000HZ) that pass through the affected area of the patient. The current tends to penetrate deeper than other electrical modalities and has a number of physiological effects that have therapeutic value.
The physiological effects include:
1. an increase in localized blood flow which can improve healing by reducing swelling (the additional blood flowing through the area takes edematous fluid away with it) and as a result helps remove damaged tissue and bring nutrients necessary for healing to the injured area.
2. the stimulation of local nerve cells that can have a pain reducing/anaesthetic effect due to potentially blocking the transmission of the pain signals (pain gate mechanism) or by stimulating the release of pain reducing endorphins (opiod mechanism).
3. some degree of muscle stimulation as muscle contraction can be achieved through external application of an electrical current, overcoming some of the muscle inhibition often caused by local injury and swelling.
TENS VS INTERFERENTIAL
Many patients think Interferential is the same as Tens unit. Following are the more detailed information about the difference:
For the Inteferential, the focus of its function is to block the pain message on the peripheral nerve fibers. TENS modulates low frequency (125Hz) versus the Interferential which usually delivers at 4000Hz. The Interferential can deliver electric currents with much more comfort than a TENS unit.
It is also proven that Interferential can reach greater depths and offers electrotherapy to a larger number of tissues than TENS. Typically, pain with a very deep origin is hard to reach with other treatment modalities other than Interferential. Interferential stimulates circulation, and TENS can stimulate endorphin production.
Interferential is used to manage edema, pain, and inflammation which are caused by trauma or degenerative alterations with the involvement of soft tissues. It can treat conditions like shingles, neuralgia, and arthritis.
In addition, studies claim that Interferntial has a role in stimulating healing and restoration of tissues while TENS only focuses on controlling pain.