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Interferential Therapy: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, Interferential current therapy

How is the treatment done?

Interferential therapy is a type of therapy which is very effective and is used in relieving pain by various physiotherapic clinics. This helps to accelerate the process of self healing and getting a patient’s body free from pain and regain healthy physical conditions. In this therapy, the interferential current is produced on the skin, of the affected body part of the patient, with the help of interferential device by expert physiotherapist. This interferential current penetrates into the skin and reaches the underlying living muscle tissue.

This therapy involves an orthopaedic physical therapy setting. Generally this treatment is not given to patients having any severe health conditions. In cases of chronic pain in neck, shoulder, knee joint and back pain this treatment gives temporary relief of the location. This therapy is given to patients for 15 minutes in a single session.

Physiotherapy treatment plays a vital role in management of pain and some more physical conditions. The basic principles of interferential therapy are to utilise strong physiological effect in low frequency of electrical stimulations to muscle tissues and nerves too.

It is also described as transcutaneous application which involves alternating frequency of electric current for therapeutic purposes. A difference of 100Hz in current is required for the therapy. A mid frequency electrical signal is used to treat muscular strains and spasm. An interferential current therapy device is a most commonly found electrotherapy machine in today’s physiotherapy applications.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

The treatment of inferential therapy is done to the localized body part that is affected by muscle pain. This therapy is done with the help of a device known as inferential current therapy device. This device consists of four electrodes and a current intensity regulator. This therapy is mainly given to persons having pain in neck, knee, shoulder and back.

In this therapy, on the allotted portion of the body part of the patient, a lubricant known as electrode gel is applied at first. Then the four electrodes are placed in clover leaf pattern right angle to each other. Two intensity of current is passed through it with a difference of 100Hz in current input. The current passes through the skin and reaches the respective part of the body. The input of the current to the muscle produces some sensation and this sensation helps in self healing of the pain.

Patients having any other problem related to pain like inflammation and swelling, if receives this therapy may achieve relief too. This therapy also helps in restoring lost movements and helps in improving it.

Interferential therapy also helps in stimulating natural body hormones which triggers certain organs and heals the pain faster. However, this therapy is considered to be an effective treatment by many expert physicians.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Patients suffering from pain in various body parts are generally eligible for the treatment. This therapy is also used in sports medical field, such as athletes, who gets sudden pain due to any heavy exercise or any accidental event are sometimes provided this therapy by expert physiotherapists and has proved to be helpful for quick recovery. Any individual, above 12 years of age, can go for this therapy, only if it is prescribed by an expert doctor.

Are there any side effects?

This treatment is not eligible for athletes during their endurance training, but it can be applicable only after their training events get over. During pregnancy this therapy is generally not given, as it may cause harm to the mother and child both. This therapy is not used in any muscle regaining strategy. Infants or children below 12 years of age are generally not eligible for this therapy. However doctors suggests this therapy mainly for localized muscle pain only.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The current therapy does not have any such side effects as seen in most of the cases. But in some critical cases, or in times of pregnancy, if a person receives this current therapy then it might be risky and can be harmful also. It can also cause severe damage and difficulties if taken during pregnancy. In case of athletes, during their endurance training, expert physician recommends not to go for this therapy as it may be less helpful to them during the event. Though the risk factor of this therapy is less but one should always be self conscious to avoid any sort of problems.

How long does it take to recover?

The interferential therapy does not follow any such rules and regulations or guidelines for the patients after the treatment is done. In case of patients having any other problem in their body, must follow all the rules and guidelines as prescribed by their concerned doctors. However as the treatment is concerned with only localized muscle pain so the patient generally requires rest and sufficient sleep for quick recovery. Though no such guideline is found to be recommended in normal cases but it will always be helpful if a person stays fully conscious about his/her health to avoid any small or big problem regarding physical condition.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The interferential therapy being just a temporary pain relief therapy takes a time duration of seven days minimum to get a healthy result for a patient. However due to less effectiveness it can be given to a patient continuously for 21 day to a month, for severe cases, as required. If a patient is suffering from any other physical problems then the time durations varies according to other required treatments.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The cost of the treatment in India varies from places to places. The price range generally starts from Rs. 120/- to Rs. 650/- per session. Various clinics provide this therapy at various price ranges. Price of this therapy is low in hospitals than in physiotherapy specialized clinics, and it mainly depends on how expert is a physiotherapist.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

The interferential therapy is mainly used for localized muscle pain and is a temporary treatment for pain relief. However there is no such commitment of permanent recovery given to patients. The therapy is given just for a temporary healing of the affected area.

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