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Electrotherapy is a practical alternative to pain-relieving medication. It is a non-invasive type of therapy that also helps restore sensation and movement in different types of motor-sensory disorders and chronic conditions.

How It Works
Electrical currents stimulate nerves and muscles via small electrodes placed on the skin. Our Department of Physiotherapy has a wide range of Electrotherapy treatments and the latest equipment and devices used to administer them.

These devices emit three types of currents, at different intensities, to induce, interrupt or alter electrical impulses. This serves to minimise or eradicate pain, facilitate the healing of wounds in tissues and muscles and rehabilitate damaged or wasted muscles.

Types of Currents
High-Frequency Currents
Short-Wave Diathermy

2. Low-Frequency Currents
Faradic currents
Galvanic currents
Trancutaneous Electrical Nerve stimulation (TENS)

3. Medium-Frequency Currents
Interferential Therapy (IFT)

Low-Frequency Currents
Faradic currents, galvanic currents and TENS are three types of low-frequency currents used for neuromuscular stimulation. Faradic and galvanic currents are typically used to stimulate and re-educate muscles and therefore treat conditions such as nerve paralysis.

On the other hand, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS is a popular pain-relief treatment, TENS both blocks the sensation of pain and also stimulates the brain to release its natural opiates – endorphins and encephalans – which in turn block pain signals from reaching the brain. It is most effective when used along with physical or exercise therapy.

Medium-Frequency Currents (Interferential Therapy or IFT)
IFT is another oft-used pain-relief treatment, where two medium-frequency currents are administered in such a way (four electrodes are placed on the skin) that they intersect and thus ‘interfere’ with each other. This produces an ‘interferential’ current, which produces the effect of a low-frequency current.

Compared to low-frequency currents such as TENS, IFT provides greater penetration under the skin, higher tolerance and greater comfort levels. It is best suited to treating deeper, layered tissues such as tendons and bursae, post-operative pain as well as pain arising out of conditions such as cervical spondylosis, trapezitis, lumbar spondylosis, sciatica, osteoarthiritis of the knee and shoulder pain due to periarthitis at the shoulder joint.