Physiotherapy management electrotherapy

Physiotherapy management electrotherapy is the application of electrical current to the area of generation of nociception.

Physiotherapeutic methods are based on use of mainly two different modalities:

1. Electrotherapy

2. Exercise therapy

This can be achieved with following methods of electrical current:

• Low frequency

• Medium frequency

• High frequency

Low frequency:

i) The application of low frequency current leads to stimulation of nerve fibres and muscles, which blocks the ascending pain impulses (large fibres in gate control theory).

ii) In addition, this may also lead to release of neurotransmitters (endorphin, enkephalins) which modulate the nociception and relieve such pain using physiotherapy management electrotherapy .

iii) With help of low frequency in physiotherapy management electrotherapy , direct current (DC) medicated ionized preparations may be introduced in the painful area through intact skin: “lontophoresis”, e.g., salicylates.

iv) The low frequency current when applied for sufficient time can also produce effect of “counter irritation”, again through “gating” mechanism, blocking nociceptive afferent stimuli.

Medium Frequency: The increase in frequency will manifest as lesser resistance to the penetrability of the electrical current waves, thus even deeper structures also become amenable to effect of physiotherapy management electrotherapy .

High Frequency: As the frequency goes on increasing, the greater cycles of the electrical current and higher amplitude lead to oscillation of atoms producing heat inside the tissues.

The physiological effects of physiotherapy management electrotherapy results in increased circulation and washing away of metabolites and pain producing substances; sedative effect on CNS; release of neuromodulators in the CNS, thus producing adequate analgesia.

Recently, in physiotherapy management electrotherapy , few newer methods have been introduced:

Ultrasonic waves:  These waves are used to introduce the drugs in painful areas and the process is called “Phonophoresis”.

Cryotherapy: Application of cold to painful area was known to humans for many centuries, but with help of gas-induced (nitrous oxide or carbon dioxide) probes very specific location can be demarcated and pain relief can be achieved.

This is based on the principle that: “cold decreases conduction velocity of the pain carrying fibres and thus relieving pain due to physiotherapy management electrotherapy . In addition, cold can decrease process of acute inflammation and can reduce pain.

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