Therapeutic utrasound as a treatment modality that has been used by therapists over the last 50 years to treat soft tissue injuries. Ultrasound is applied using a wand or probe put in direct contact with the skin. Ultrasound gel is used on the surface of the head to reduce friction and improve the transmission of the ultrasonic waves. The sound waves that pass through the skin cause a vibration of the local tissues which can cause a local heating effect though usually no heat will be felt by the patient.
Ultrasound has been shown to cause increased tissue relaxation, local blood flow, and scar tissue breakdown. The increase in local blood flow can help reduce local swelling, chronic inflammation, and may promote bone fracture healing. The intensity of the ultrasound can be adjusted depending on the desired effect.
What is Electrotherapy or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)?
Electrotherapy, also known as TENS, is a drug-free, non-invasive therapy designed to reduce and relieve numbness in the arms, legs and foot by applying electrical nerve stimulation to the surface of the skin near the site of the pain.
Interferential Current (IFC)
IFC has been used in physical therapy treatment for many years and has been proven to be very safe. The IFC machine produces electrical currents that pass through the affected area of the patient. The current tends to penetrate deeper than other electrical modalities, such as TENS, and has a number of physiological effects that have therapeutic value. The physiological effects include:
- Increasing local blood flow which can improve healing by reducing swelling and as a result helps remove damaged tissue and bring nutrients necessary for healing to the injured area
- Stimulation of local nerve cells providing a pain reducing effect
- Muscle stimulation to overcome some of the muscle inhibition often caused by local injury and swelling
During treatment patient will feel a tingling or ‘pins and needles’ sensation at the area being treated which may continue for a period following treatment.