Interferential Current Therapy:
Interferential Therapy (IFC) is a deeper, more intensive type of current treatment. IFC uses dual high frequency electrical signals that are slightly out of phase and are transmitted into the body simultaneously. The signals are transmitted so their paths will actually interfere with one another (giving the treatment its name). This interference produces a “beat” frequency that simulates the effect of subcutaneous (i.e. under the skin) low frequency stimulation.
IFT is usually administered by a health care practitioner such as a physiotherapist.
Benefits Of IFC
Pain relief, muscular stimulation, improved local blood flow, edema reduction and acceleration of soft tissue healing.
For patients experiencing acute conditions, the physiotherapist will usually try shorter treatment times of 5-10 minutes. For other patients, we may try stimulating the tissues for longer periods of possibly 20-30 minutes.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
TENS is an electrotherapy treatment that is a popular solution for a variety of painful conditions such as arthritis, lower back pain, labor pain and nerve related pain, including phantom pain.
TENS works by using a (usually portable) electrical device to deliver electrical impulses through the skin.
TENS can work in two ways. The first uses high frequency signals to selectively stimulate certain ‘non-pain’ nerve fibers to send signals to the brain that block other nerve signals carrying pain messages.
In addition, TENS uses low frequency signals that stimulate the production of endorphins. Endorphins are natural pain-relieving hormones which act as a built-in pain management system.
There is a tradeoff between high and low frequency stimulation. High frequency stimulation is tolerable for hours, but the resultant pain relief lasts for a shorter period of time. Low frequency stimulation is comparable to acupuncture and is usually tolerable for short periods only. However, the resulting pain relief lasts much longer than that resulting from high frequency stimulation. Low-frequency stimulation, sometimes compared to acupuncture, is more uncomfortable and tolerable for only around 20-30 minutes, but the resultant pain relief lasts longer.