Electrotherapy is a popular therapy that uses various kinds of electric currents which enhance the blood circulation, relieve muscle tension, or on the contrary, strengthen it. Acts against pain and inflammation. Type electrotherapy treatment is selected according to the prevailing type of disease. It is possible to treat musculoskeletal disorders, circulatory disorders, inflammatory and degenerative diseases, post-operative states, skin problems like.
Electrotherapy has been used since ancient times. Roman physicians treated gout stoking a live electric eel on the affected limb. Currently, electrotherapy widespread rehabilitation method that is practiced and offered in a range of rehabilitation and spa facilities. It offers a wide range of treatment methods, using various forms of electrical current – direct current, alternating current low or medium frequency or high-frequency current pulses with differently shaped. Generally speaking, the electro act especially against pain (analgesic effect has), increased muscle tension (muscle-relaxant effect), increases blood circulation and tissue metabolism, has a beneficial effect on reducing edema. Electrotherapy is therefore useful in diseases of the musculoskeletal system, especially in chronic and degenerative diseases, the postoperative, traumatic conditions, chronic gynecological and urological inflammations, in diseases of the digestive and respiratory tract, skin diseases and others.
Types of electrotherapy
TENS (transcutaneous nerve stimulation)
This method is based on the observation that keeping noxious sensations and the perception of pain can be alleviated to suppress the stimulation of nerve fibers at different levels of the nervous system. These methods affect pain and relax muscle spasms and stiffness. During the actual electrical stimulation occurs in the brain tissue to secrete endorphins (opiate pain dampening). It is used to treat a variety of painful conditions such as pain in the spine, joints and tendons, headaches, post-traumatic pain, musculoskeletal system, phantom pain (pain after amputation), and others.
Iontophoresis is a method of electrotherapy, which allows electrolytic effect of galvanic current into the surface layers of the skin or mucous membranes of the drug as with other electrotherapy. They then act directly on the spot according to their specific effects. Thus, the incorporation into the affected areas e.g. calcium, potassium, procaine, mesocain, hyaluronidase, histamine, salicylates, and other substances, which are applied e.g. its anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, or another type of action. It is used e.g. in allergic manifestations (localized urticaria), for the treatment of cutaneous scars, including keloid (raised scar), chronic degenerative joint processes, neuralgia and root pain, muscle pain, lymph edema, and others.
Electroplating is electrotherapy and therapeutic use of direct current, eg. Galvanic current with constant intensity. In tissues interchange of cations and anions between the electrodes, the leaching of ions from the cells and increase the local metabolism in the skin, subcutaneous tissue and other tissues, congestion of the area with an increase in capillary permeability, mobilize edema, sprains and inflammatory exudate with accelerating their absorption, leaching combustion products of metabolism, stimulating normal regulatory mechanisms and repair, suppressing pain, reduce muscle tension. This application takes about 20 minutes every other day treatment is 6x-10x. Application the patient can feel tingling, prickling and slight warmth.
Most frequently used in the treatment of these conditions: traumatic conditions of local tissue shock, inflammation of connective tissue musculoskeletal disorders, inflammation of tendons, tendon insertions (entesopathy), tendon sheaths, fascia, joint capsules, neuralgia (including neuralgia after herpes zoster), neuritis (inflammation nerve), myalgia (muscle pain), root syndromes, circulatory disorders (Raynaud’s disease, acrocyanosis), arthritis, Sudeck syndrome, and others.
They have analgetic effects, when this method is applied to direct the low-frequency electric current through the electrode attached to the affected area. Between the electrode and the patient’s body is a contact material, through which flow takes place. The intensity is selected according to subjective tolerance of the patient. This treatment increases blood circulation in the affected area, relaxes muscles, is used in a number of painful conditions. The main indications are the traumatic conditions (bruising and muscle strain, dislocation of joints, etc.), Musculoskeletal diseases (backache, cervicocranial and cervicobrachial syndrome, arthritis), neuralgia, neuritis, circulatory disorders (Raynaud’s disease, varicose veins, phlebitis, chilblains, peripheral arterial disease). The most common application time in one place is about 3-5 min. Total application time does not exceed 12 minutes. Generally speaking, the process is more acute, the shorter the current application. Duration increases depending on the area you are trying to influence the process and at depth in tissue. Acute conditions applies mostly 1x daily maintenance therapy during 1 week. A total of 5-10 applications.
Electrotherapy as a method utilizing the application of current via electrodes. Treatment is based on the interference of two středněfrekvenčních currents within the tissue. To increase the effect is used so. Vacuum electrodes, application time is then shorter, the intensity of the current is chosen according to subjective tolerance of the patient. Treatment affects blood flow of the affected area, improves the nutrition field causes the muscles to relax and reduces pain. It acts directly on the muscles, nerves and affects the metabolism of cells. Interfereční jets are more often applied in chronic processes, while diadynamic currents for acute conditions. The indications are mainly chronic inflammatory and degenerative musculoskeletal diseases, diseases of the muscles, tendons and bursae, fractures and other bone diseases, bruises, sprains, joint pain, arthritis, spondylosis, ankylosing spondylitis, back pain, neuralgia, neuritis, vascular diseases, gynecological inflammations, abdominal adhesions, asthma and others. Application takes most 15 minutes, at more acute irritant conditions and the application time is shorter in chronic diseases and in patients less sensitive to current application is extended. Generally, the length of application ranges from 3-20 minutes. The number of treatments is usually 9 to 12 during 3 weeks.
Low-frequency pulse streams having a pronounced analgesic action, are used similarly to the above method, particularly after trauma, pain of spine, are useful in degenerative diseases of the small and large joints, chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases affecting the joints, for relieving nerve and muscle pain.
This method utilizes the irritating effects of low-frequency currents. The indication for use is to prevent muscle weakness from inactivity (fractures, post-operative conditions), the stimulation of the muscles of legs and abdomen for bedridden patients.
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