Electrotherapy – How We Can Help You Get Your Spark Back
Posted on 22nd July 2021
Here at Fire and Earth, we always aim to use the best and most appropriate techniques to provide the quickest and most effective pain relief for all our clients. As part of this ethos, our growing team are now able to provide a multi-disciplined approach to such an array of complex ailments.
At David Lloyd Coventry, our Sports Therapist, Georgina, is now able to provide electrotherapy for our clients. You may be wondering what electro-therapy is. Well, we’ll explain how this innovative equipment may be able to help you get out of pain.
Is Electrotherapy As Scary As It Sounds?
Electrotherapy is the use of electrical energy as a medical treatment. The use of electricity over an area as a treatment is to reduce pain, improve circulation, repair tissues, and strengthen muscles which all leads to improvements in physical functioning and promotes healing. Electrotherapy can be applied in many ways and can be seen as an umbrella term for many different treatment options available. So, let’s explore what’s on offer.
Therapeutic Ultrasound (TUS)
Ultrasound is a term that you might be familiar with. Contrary to what many people may know it for, this will not be used to create a visual image on a screen, so don’t worry; we’re not going to be scanning your tummy. This modality of electrotherapy is used for its treatment benefits only. Ultrasound treatment uses a small metal plate which glides in circular motions over the skin to treat the underlying tissues. Small ultrasonic waves travel through the skin into these inflamed or damaged tissues. It is thought that this excites the cells and upregulates the absorption of many different important ions. In short, it’s believed to increase the process required for healing.
Do you want the even better news? You shouldn’t even feel a thing! The jury is still out as the whether there are benefits to having this treatment for some injuries above others, however I have personally found it to be beneficial when treating tendon injuries such as Achilles Tendinosis, Patella Tendonitis, Golfer’s elbow, Tennis elbow, and many more.
Interferential Therapy (ITF)
Interferential is a modality of electrotherapy which uses small electrical pads connected to the unit to conduct a wide range of electrical pulses through the skin, into deeper layers of tissue. Some of you may have previously heard of or used a TENS unit. This is one of the milder settings available for this treatment. ITF works by stimulating the nerves to either distract them from sending pain signals to the brain, or by stimulating the brain to produce natural painkillers (endogenous opiates).
These painkillers stored within the body are released to provide up to 24hrs or more of relief! For those very early-stage injuries where the limb is too uncomfortable or swollen to be able to move on its own, ITF can aid in stimulating a controlled muscle contraction to reduce swelling, increase muscle tone, reduce pain and progress rehabilitation.
For more chronic or deep-seated injuries, Interferential also claims to reduce pain and oedema (swelling) deep in tissues to help in restoring range of movement. This makes it ideal to use for injuries such as Sciatica, Sacroiliac Joint Inflammation, Osteoarthritis, and Bursitis.
Something to note
However amazing the effects of these treatments can be, Interferential and Ultrasound are not going to miraculously heal you in one session. (I wish they could!) They can aid in improving tissue health and pain but are most effective when paired alongside soft tissue treatments and personalised exercise prescriptions. That said, they can be an extremely useful aid at fast tracking rehabilitation to get you back to being you as quickly as possible.
Due to the nature of this treatment, there are a few contraindications that we will need to screen for before treatment can begin. This does not necessarily mean a big red flag to having electrotherapy, but you will need to let our therapist know if you have any of the following:
Any metal plates, screws, or wires in your body
Altered tissue sensation or highly sensitive skin
Implanted electrical devices such as a pacemaker
Electrotherapy sounds great! Where do I sign up?
If you are thinking that electrotherapy could be the thing you need to aid your recovery, have a chat with your Sports Therapist to find out more on how we can help you.
Book your appointment at Fire and Earth David Lloyd Coventry here!
Share this post: