Electrotherapy uses electrical signals to interfere with the transmission of neural pain signals into the brain. It effectively slows down or distracts the message from the nerve to the brain. From a physiotherapy point of view, affecting one’s ‘Pain Gate’, whether in an acute or chronic pain episode, is crucial area of treatment and electrotherapy is a very useful resource where conventional medicines are not as affective. Electrotherapy can also involve the use of this electric current to speed tissue healing where tissue damage has also occurred.
They tend to provide a short-term benefit to help you move and function as comfortably as possible whilst the physiotherapist addresses the cause of the problem. Common electrotherapy modalities include ultrasound and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). Local modalities include the application of ice (cryotherapy) or heat.
Electrotherapy can benefit:
- Low back pain
- Labour pain
- Nerve related pain such as phantom pain