Electrical Stimulation Therapy
Targeting the pain site, not the entire body
Interferential Current Therapy (IFC) is a noninvasive therapy indicated for the symptomatic relief from, and management of, chronic intractable pain and post-surgical and post-trauma acute pain. It provides a safe and effective alternative to pharmacological approaches to pain control. IFC has minimal side effects and is non-addictive. Adverse reactions associated with electrotherapy may include skin irritation beneath the electrodes.
How Interferential Current works
Interferential Current (IFC) occurs with the superimposition or interference of two or three medium-frequency sinusoidal currents generated by separate oscillatory circuits in the interferential machine. Sinusoidal waves with a frequency in the medium-frequency range (between 1,000 – 10,000pps) have different physiological responses than low frequency currents.
- Depth of Penetration: As the frequency reaches the medium-frequency range the pulse duration and the pulse charge decrease. This causes skin resistance to decrease and therefore, interferential current penetrates deeper than almost all other electrotherapies. Interferential current readily crosses the skin and penetrates to the deep layer of muscle and tissue.
- Stimulation of Nerves: At these frequencies, nerves depolarize, but do not have enough time to re-polarize before another pulse stimulates them. They therefore remain in a constant state of depolarization. This is called “Wedinsky inhibition”, and effectively blocks transmission along the nerve.
Effectiveness of interferential current
IFC is utilized primarily for pain reduction, blood flow/edema management and management of urinary incontinence via muscle stimulation. As interferential current acts primarily on the excitable tissues, the strongest effects are likely to be those which are a direct result of such stimulation i.e., pain relief and muscle stimulation. The other effects are more likely to be secondary consequences of these. IFC can be used for pain associated with several conditions including:
- Back pain (most common)
- Strains and sprains
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
- Degenerative joint disease
- Interstitial Cystitis