What is Electrotherapy?
Electricity has been used to treat pain for over 100 years and recent scientific studies have proven that electricity can reduce both acute and chronic pain to some degree. The exact mechanism of electrical stimulation’s beneficial effect remains controversial. Electrical stimulation may directly block transmission of pain signals along nerves. In addition, electrical stimulation has been shown to promote the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers produced by the body. (Revord, 1999)
Aims of Electrotherapy treatment?
The American Physical Therapy Association acknowledges the use of electrotherapy for:
– Pain Management
– Tissue repair
– Acute and chronic odema
Research / evidence for Electrotherapy:
Despite its regular use in the 90’s there has been little evidence to support the effects of electrotherapy. In 2000 The Dutch Health Council published a report on the efficacy of electrotherapy. The report concludes that the results of various forms of electrotherapy is inconclusive. However there were some exceptions: electrotherapy for osteoarthritis of the hip or knee, laser therapy for pain treatment and rheumatoid arthritis, and ultrasound treatment for lateral epicondylitis. Overall, further research is clearly needed.
Contraindications (when to avoid Electrotherapy):
Precautions for Electrotherapy:
Side Effects of Electrotherapy:
Aggravated discomfort at site of treatment