What Is Interferential Therapy and How It Helps Neck Pain?

Physiotherapy plays major role in pain management as well as in rehabilitation conditions. Some of the major health problems where physiotherapy provides good relief are sciatica, intervertebral disc problems, paralysis, stroke, cerebral palsy, facial palsy, bell’s palsy, cervical spondylosis, lumbar spondylosis, post traumatic rehabilitation, post surgical rehabilitation, etc.

Interferential Therapy for Pain
Interferential Therapy

The physiotherapy treatment has two major divisions, one is exercise therapy and the other one is Electro therapy. In case of Electro therapy there are many treatment options available for managing the pain in any part of the body.

Some of the major Electrotherapy treatment modalities which provides relief in pain are ultrasound, traction, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, wax treatment, infrared ray treatment, Interferential therapy, etc.

Among these various electro therapy treatment modalities for pain management the best and highest prescribed treatment measure is Interferential therapy.

What Is Interferential Therapy?

The Interferential therapy or IFT uses mid-frequency electrical stimulus to remove the muscle sprains, strains and spasms. When applied appropriately, this mid-frequency current waves creates a massaging effect on the affected area at intermittent levels.

This intermittent current stimulation causes production or secretion of endorphins and encephalins hormones which is found to be helpful in relieving the pain.

(Endorphins and encephalins hormones are considered as the natural analgesics which our body cells produce during painful conditions to reduce the pain)

The Interferential therapy is principally used:

  • To relieve the pain
  • To increase the blood flow mainly cutaneous and local blood flow
  • To stimulate the muscles so that the recuperation process will be fastened
  • To reduce the swelling and edema of the bodily parts

In case of open wounds, cut injuries, infections, etc. the Interferential therapy should not be used as it may increase the problems.

Procedure of Interferential Therapy

How does interferential therapy work?

Basically four electrode pads are used in the Interferential therapy, out of which two of then are red colored and another two are blue. The four electrode pads were kept opposite to each other so that the current communicates at the center of the four electrode pads.

By this electrical communication the natural pain killing chemicals endorphins and encephalins gets secreted in good amount and is accumulated over the affected area which helps in reduction of pain.

The modern Interferential therapy units has inbuilt frequency modulations, timing adjustments, etc. The only thing the therapist has to do with the Interferential machine is operating and monitoring the intensity levels.

By asking the patient they can increase the intensity of an interferential therapy unit maximum to the tolerable levels. Generally the time duration of Interferential therapy for a single part is maximum of 10 minutes.

Side Effects of Interferential Therapy

Overall, the Interferential therapy is a wonderful painless treatment option for reliving neck and back pain. Although it is one of the best treatment options, it should not be used for long without any recommendations.

Side effects of interferential therapy are less known and only in few of the cases temporary loss of concentration and drowsiness is felt. These symptoms are usually experienced after every treatment session, which may prolong for few hours.

IFT treatment therapy is now available in all physiotherapy as well as  pain management centers. Hence getting the treatment to get rid of your pain is much easier. The treatment is much affordable and worth trying out if you are experiencing painful neck, back and shoulders.

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