Electrotherapy is the use of electricity for treating patients which have been in use since a century. There have been scientific studies reporting that electricity has a beneficial effect on reducing both acute and the chronic pain. The mechanism of the electrical stimulation might be attributed to block the transmission of the pain signals to the nerves. This stimulation also promotes releasing of endorphins, the natural painkiller produced by the body.
The electrotherapy machines work by utilising frequency or by emitting the electric current which is induced in the body which kills and eradicate the viruses, fungi or bacteria. However, in some cases, if the electric current fails to reach the targeted viruses and bacteria then there is a possibility of having many side effects such as heat burning, destruction of the good cells.
Use of The Electrotherapy Machines
- The electrotherapy machines are useful in healing wounds and this technology has been researched and is accepted for the use in rehabilitation.
- The electrotherapy machines are widely used for the treatment of Pain Management: The electrotherapy helps in improving the joint movement.
- It is useful in the management of neuromuscular dysfunction. The beneficial effects of the electrotherapy machines include improvement in the strength and motor control. It helps in retarding the muscle atrophy. It also improves the local blood flow and thus improves blood circulation.
- The mobility of the joints is improved when the electrotherapy machines are used. The mechanism includes inducing stretching of the contracted and shortened soft tissues.
- The electrotherapy machines are useful in repairing the tissues. The mechanism of the treatment includes enhancing the microcirculation and synthesis of protein to heal the wounds. The blood flow is increased to all the injured tissues which increase the macrophages which help in cleaning up of the debris. The integrity of the connective and the dermal tissues is restored when the electric current is induced.
- The electric therapy is also useful in the treatment of acute and chronic edema. It helps in accelerating the absorption rate. The permeability of the blood vessel is affected and mobility of proteins, lymphatic and blood cells flow is increased.The peripheral blood flow is also increased as the electric current induces the arterial, lymphatic and venous blood flow.
- The electrotherapy machines are used for iontophoresis. It helps in the delivery of the pharmacological agents. The direct current induced by the machines transports the ions directly through the skin. The most common usable drugs are dexamethasone, lidocaine, and acetic acid.
- The treatment is also useful in the urine and faecal The current affects the pelvic floor muscles which relieve the pelvic pain and also strengthens the musculature. Further, the treatment using the electrotherapy machines might lead to complete continence of the problem.
- The machine is also useful for the treatment of lymphatic drainage. It stimulates the lymphatic system which reduces the edema from the body.The primary use of the electrotherapy machines is in physical therapy essential for the relaxation of muscular spasms, prevention, retardation and relieving the disease atrophy, improving the circulation of blood, rehabilitation of muscles and prequalifying the electrical muscle stimulation process. It also helps in maintaining and increasing the range of motion, managing the chronic, difficult and intractable pain, which could be any post-traumatic or post-surgical pain. The other uses include immediate stimulation of the muscles post-surgery will prevent the venous thrombosis, drug delivery, and the wound healing.
However, the mechanisms of the treatment using the electrotherapy machines are still not clear and further research and studies on the effectiveness and the best practices of the treatment are still needed. Although, the devices used in the electrotherapy are studies and have been found effective in the treatment of chronic wound healing and pressure ulcers.