What is Electrotherapy?

There are several treatment modalities that may come under the umbrella of “electrotherapy”.

After assessement and discussion with you, your physiotherapist may recommend one of the following treatments, usually in a addition to a specifically targeted home exercise plan or other exercise therapy:

Ultrasound

“Mechanical vibration at increasing frequencies is known as sound energy. The normal human sound range is from 16Hz to something approaching 15-20,000 Hz (in children and young adults). Beyond this upper limit, the mechanical vibration is known as ULTRASOUND. The frequencies used in therapy are typically between 1.0 and 3.0 MHz (1MHz = 1 million cycles per second).”

Tim Watson – electrotherapy.orgTherapeutic Ultrasound

The process of healing from an injury, regardless of the tissue affected, involves a series of complicated steps within the body’s tissues. It is believed that the mechanical vibrations from the ultrasond machine can enhance the body’s ability to heal the tissues more efficiently.

Does ultrasond hurt? Can you feel it?

The frequencies used in ultrasound are so high, that you should not feel the machine working at all. The physiotherapist will apply a cool gel to the affected area, but this gel is purely to help with transmission of the soundwaves through the surface of the skin. Basically it helps to get the treatment to the area where it is needed. If you feel discomfort at any point, please inform your physiotherapist.

Is it safe?

Yes, it is safe when recommended following a thorough verbal and physical assessment by your physiotherapist. There are some conditions and situations where ultrasound may not be appopriate. During assessment your physiotherapist is ensuring that any treatment offered is safe for your condition, taking into consideration all other aspects of your general health.

How many sessions do I have?

This very much depends on your condition and individual needs. This will be discussed with you at your physiotherapy session.

Will I have to get undressed?

The Physiotherapist will need to see the skin of the area to be treated. If you agree to having ultrasound treatment, you should bring clothing that will make examination and treatment of the area more comfortable for you.

Pulsed shortwave therapy

It is believed that this treatment uses the effects of an electric and magenitic field to improve the efficiency of the body’s healing processes in soft tissue injuries.

“The clinical effects of PSWT (pulsed shortwave therapy) are primarily related to the inflammatory and repair phases in muscuoskeletal / soft tissues. The effects list is remarkably similar to that of ultrasound.”

Tim Watson – electrotherapy.org

Does pulsed shortwave therapy hurt? Can you feel it?PSWD

You should not feel the machine working at all. If you feel discomfort at any point, please inform your physiotherapist.

Is it safe?

Yes, it is safe when recommended following a thorough verbal and physical assessment by your physiotherapist. There are some conditions and situations where pulsed shortwave therapy may not be appropriate. During assessment the physiotherapist is ensuring that any treatment offered is safe for your condition, taking into consideration all other aspects of your general health.

How long does it take?

Normally a treatment session will take between 10 and 20 mins depending on your individual needs.

How many sessions do I have?

This depends on your condition and individual needs. This will be discussed with you at your physiotherapy session.

Will I have to get undressed?

The physiotherapist will need to see the skin of the area to be treated. If you agree to having pulsed shortwave treatment, you should bring clothing that will make examination and treatment of the area more comfortable for you.

TENS

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) is a method of providing pain relief without medication. It 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, which are stored within the body.

“TENS is most commonly delivered from small, hand held, battery powered devices. They can be purchased ‘over the counter’ in many (but not all) countries. In some locations, they need to be ‘prescribed’ by a therapist, doctor or other healthcare practitioner.”

Tim Watson – electrotherapy.org

Is it safe?

Yes, it is safe when recommended following a thorough verbal and physical assessment by your physiotherapist. There are some conditions and situations where TENS may not be appropriate. During assessment the physiotherapist is ensuring that any treatment offered is safe for your condition, taking into consideration all other aspects of your general health.

“TENS as a treatment technique is non invasive and has few side effects when compared with drug therapy. The most common complaint is an allergic type skin reaction (about 2-3% of patients) and this is almost always due to the material of the electrodes, the conductive gel or the tape employed to hold the electrodes in place. Most TENS applications are now made using self adhesive, pre gelled electrodes which have several advantages including reduced cross infection risk, ease of application, lower allergy incidence rates and lower overall cost.”

Tim Watson – electrotherapy.org

TENSHow many sessions do I have?

You will normally have one session where we will show you how to apply the TENS machine and safely use it in your own home. We will loan you a machine if it is deemed appropriate. You will have to sign for the machine and you must agree to return it after your trial period (normally lasting two weeks). Teaching you how to use the machine effectively at home makes the treatment more accessible to you. You will then have a follow up session to see how you are managing and to determine if the machine has been useful. If the machine is effective, you will be advised to purchase your own.

Will I have to get undressed?

The physiotherapist will need to see the skin of the area to be treated. If you agree to try TENS, you should bring clothing that will make examination and treatment of the area more comfortable for you.

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