Types of Electrotherapy
The two main Electrotherapy modalities on offer at the clinic are: Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS).
Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS)
EMS stimulates a muscle contraction using electrical impulses to re-activate or strengthen weak muscles following injury, reduce swelling, relieve pain and aid the healing process. Stimulation at high intensities can elicit a muscle contraction.
The impulses are generated by a device and delivered through electrodes (pads that adhere to the skin) over the middle of the muscles that require stimulating. The impulses from EMS mimic the action potential (stimulus required to make the muscle contract) coming from the central nervous system. This causes the muscles to contract.
This would normally be preceded by an initial injury assessment your therapist will advise if this is a suitable treatment for your injury.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
TENS primarily aims to provide pain relief by stimulating sensory nerves and modulating pain. TENS can be used as an alternative to drug treatment and has very few side effects.
The frequency, intensity and duration of TENS can be manipulated to control pain. When using a high frequency, TENS stimulates certain 'non-pain' nerve fibres to send signals to the brain that block other nerve signals carrying pain messages. When using a low frequency, TENS promotes the production of endorphins which are natural pain-relieving hormones.