The electrotherapy is an old known method in the recovery of injuries. It takes a long time to apply in physiotherapy sessions and also improving in terms of its indications and uses.
In this case, we refer to local stimulation used for therapeutic purposes, where the main objectives are to act against pain and cause muscle contraction. Let’s see how this is achieved.
Electrotherapy for Pain Control
Alleviating pain is one of the indications of certain types of electric currents, known as TENS, which is a type of current that is applied in a specific area for a certain time (recommended around 30-40 minutes) to get relief from pain in the area. There are other analgesic currents (some with better effects), but the TENS is famous because it is marketed in small and inexpensive devices, while for other types of currents, expensive devices are needed. Though, there are some recommendations that will help you to choose necessary TENS device.
There are different types of analgesic currents. All are useful to reduce pain in the area, which helps relaxation and aids in doing or performing certain exercises or activities that could not be done if the area is in great pain.
The advantage of TENS is that they are usually has to do with small appliances and with few contraindications, so the patient (advised by the physiotherapist, it is not recommended to do it without sanitary control) can learn to use it at home.
Electrostimulation for Muscle Enhancement
I remember we talked about local treatment, but we are not talking about training vests or global stimulation, which we already know has advantages as well as some serious drawbacks.
In the case of local electrotherapy, it can be used, like having the muscles in case the person has to rest. For example, to work the thigh muscles both before and after a knee ligament operation. This helps reduce the loss of muscle mass and helps to recover mass and volume. It can also be used to correct imbalance between muscle groups, specifically strengthening the muscles that are weakest.
Also, it can be used as a complement to active exercise, in an advanced phase of recovery. For example, while the subject performs an exercise, specific stimulation of the muscles involved is carried out, to increase the recruitment of motor fibers and therefore, the intensity of muscle contraction when performing the exercise.
The techniques of electrotherapy represent a wide range within the techniques used in physiotherapy to help both prevent and recover injuries. Hence, they are still a good option to consider for their benefits, although we must bear in mind that they require certain knowledge for good use and that they have, in some cases, contraindications and secondary effects, so always consult health professionals first.