Interferential Muscle Therapy
Interferential Stimulation (IF)
Interferential electrical stimulation is a type of Interferential Muscle Therapy which effectively delivers therapeutic frequencies to tissue. Conventional TENS and Neuromuscular stimulators use discrete electrical pulses delivered at low frequencies of 2-160 Hz per second. However, Interferential stimulators use a fixed carrier frequency of 4,000 Hz per second and also a second adjustable frequency of 4,001-4,400 Hz per second. When the fixed and adjustable frequencies combine (heterodyne), they produce the desired signal frequency (Interference frequency). Interferential stimulation is concentrated at the point of intersection between the electrodes. This concentration occurs deep in the tissues as well as at the surface of the skin. Conventional TENS and Neuromuscular stimulators deliver most of the stimulation directly under the electrodes. Thus, with Interferential Stimulators, current perfuses to greater depths and over a larger volume of tissue than other forms of electrical therapy. When current is applied to the skin, capacitive skin resistance decreases as pulse frequency increases.’ For example, at a frequency of 4,000 Hz (Interferential unit) capacitive skin resistance is eighty (80) times lower than with a frequency of 50 Hz (in the TENS range). Thus, Interferential current crosses the skin with greater ease and with less stimulation of cutaneous nociceptors allowing greater patient comfort during electrical stimulation. In addition, because medium-frequency (Interferential) current is tolerated better by the skin, the dosage can be increased, thus improving the ability of the Interferential current to permeate tissues and allowing easier access to deep structures. This explains why Interferential current may be most suitable for treating patients with deep pain, for promoting osteogenesis in delayed and nonunion fractures and in pseudothrosis, for stimulating deep skeletal muscle to augment the muscle pump mechanism in venous insufficiency, and for depressing the activity of certain cervical and lumbosacral sympathetic ganglia in patients with increased arterial constrictor tone. increased circulation.
Common uses of Interferential Muscle Therapy (IF): Pre and post orthopedic surgery, joint injury syndrome, cumulative trauma disorders, increasing circulation and pain control of various origins.
Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS)
This type of stimulation is characterized by a low volt stimulation targeted to stimulate motor nerves to cause a muscle contraction. Contraction/relaxation of muscles has been found to effectively treat a variety of musculoskeletal and vascular conditions. EMS differs from TENS in that it is designed to stimulate muscle motor nerves, while TENS is designed to stimulate sensory nerve endings to help decrease pain.
Some of the uses of Interferential Muscle Therapy EMS are as follows:
- Maintaining and Increasing Range of Motion: In conditions where the reduction of physiological range of motion is due to or the result of fractures with consequent immobilization, operative intervention, or arthroscopy, in shoulders, knees, and backs.
- The Prevention or Retardation of Muscle Disuse Atrophy: Muscle disuse atrophy is a reduction ‘in muscle contraction and size due to prolonged impairment or joint immobility from surgery, injury or disease. The use of electrical stimulation to contract the muscles builds and strengthens the muscles, assisting in prevention of disuse atrophy.
- Relaxation of muscle Spasms: Muscle spasms and cramping often occur in areas of localized pain and tenderness. Stimulation is used to fatigue the “spastic” muscle.
- Muscle Reeducation: Evidence has shown that a combination of both exercise and electrical stimulation is far superior in strengthening atrophied muscles.
- Increased Local Blood Circulation: Rhythmic muscle contraction helps improve blood circulation, thereby aiding in the reduction of localized swelling and tenderness.
- Immediate Post-surgical Stimulation of Calf Muscles to Prevent Venous Thrombosis: The use of EMS to increase blood circulation assists in the prevention of venous thrombosis.
Microcurrent Stimulation (MC)
Microcurrent is used for the relief of pain, because of it’s close proximity to our own body’s current, and is thought to work on a more cellular level.
Microcurrent is measured in MicroAmps, millionths of an ampere. Current levels that seem to be most effective in helping tissue heal range from 20 to 500 MicroAmps.
It is theorized that healthy tissue is the result of direct flow of electrical current throughout our body. Electrical balance is disrupted when the body is injured at a particular site, causing the electrical current to change course. The use of Microcurrent over the injured site is thought to realign this flow. Thus aid in tissue repair.
It has been found that ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) in the cell helps promote protein synthesis and healing. The lack of ATP due to trauma of the tissue results in the decreased production of sodium and an increase in metabolic wastes, which is perceived as pain. The use of Microcurrent at an injured area helps realign the body’s electrical current, increase the production of ATP, resulting in increased healing and recovery, as well as blocking the pain that is perceived.