IInterferential Therapy

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Interferential Current Therapy:

Interferential Current Therapy Dr.Deepak Anap Off. Asso.. Professor deepak.anap@pmtpims.org


Overview History Electrical skin resistance Definition Benefits of two medium frequency currents Practical Application

Interferential current (IFC):

Interferential current (IFC) Discovered by Nemec in the early 1950’s, he wanted to overcome the problems of discomfort caused by low-frequency currents and maintain the therapeutic effect. IFC was neglected until 1970s when work on pain mechanism by Melzak and Wall illustrate that pain could decreased by stimulating primary afferent neurons

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ELECTRICAL SKIN RESISTANCE Ohmic Skin Resistance: ???? - Hairs - Oil on skin - Dry Skin Capacitive resistance: Z= 1/2 Π fc

Definition: :

Definition : Two medium frequency currents of slightly differing frequency are applied to the body in such a manner to produce; an amplitude modulated low frequency current within the body. Amplitude modulation provides a beat frequency that is within the biological frequency range.

Current A MF + Current B MF = Current C IF:

Current A MF + Current B MF = Current C IF Current A: f 1 is set on the machine, is called intrinsic /carrier frequency” Current B: f 2 therapist sets, usually with the same amplitude, but slightly higher frequency ; F ( Beat Frequency) = f 2 – f 1

Benefit of utilize 2 medium frequency currents::

Benefit of utilize 2 medium frequency currents:  medium frequency currents is associated with a lower skin resistance (impedance), thus more comfortable than low frequency currents,  using a medium frequency, a more tolerable penetration of current through the skin it is possible.

Practical Applications of IFC::

Practical Applications of IFC: f 1 is fixed on the machine, usually at 4 000 Hz (2 000Hz and 6000Hz also available), f 2 can have a value from 4 001 Hz to 4 150 Hz (generally the difference between the two currents is 100/150 Hz) traditional method of applying IFC is with 4 electrodes supplied by two channels, and between them is the area to be treated, some machines have a balance control that modify repetitively and allow  of current at the level of one channel while  the other

Types of Electrodes:

Types of Electrodes Plate Vacuum Combined

Plate Electrodes :

Plate Electrodes Made of conducting rubber which are comfortable and long lasting larger plates electrodes give more comfortable treatment and deeper effect with reduced dimensions are used for a localized effect, but this effect is more superficial Attached to the patient by means of straps to assure a good contact and greater tolerance of treatment

Vacuum Electrodes :

Vacuum Electrodes made from a vacuum unit plug into a rubber suction cup connected to a machine capable of producing a vacuum, they’re really plate electrodes kept in position by a vacuum instead of bandaging suction should not be constant because can be uncomfortable and causes bruising wet sponges are placed in the cups and moisten the edges of the cups for better adherence, excellent for treating flat smooth areas for example back or a plump knee not indicated for treatment of the hairy areas because can’t get an airtight seal


PRECAUTION Do not try and tug off the electrode from the patient without releasing the vacuum can appear discomfort and bruising may result!

Combined Electrodes :

Combined Electrodes all four contacts are embedded in some insulating material and can be applied as one pad there are different sizes (small, medium and large) for different surfaces to be treated in this case the current is use in low intensity and the general terapeutical effect is smaller

Application Mode:

Application Mode 2P 4P 4PV

Intensity of Treatment::

Intensity of Treatment : It is use an intensity of current which produces a strong but comfortable prickling without a muscular contraction Treatment steps: 1)  current intensity until the patient feels a definite prickling, and leave for one minute for it to  2)  current intensity again until the patient reports a slight muscular contraction, then  intensity until contraction stops

Duration of Treatment::

Duration of Treatment: IFC must be applied for 10-15 minutes by session, at a normal intensity should not be applied to one region for longer than 20 minutes,, If we have to treat more than one region in this case the total time of current application should not exceed 30 min. PRECAUTION: More than 30 minute can make the patient feel tired later in the day!!!

Frequency of applying the treatment :

Frequency of applying the treatment in most cases, treatment every other day (3 time a week), usually 12 session of application are made consecutively. PRECAUTION: Less than 2 treatments by week is usually a waste of time!!!

Electrode Placement :

Electrode Placement painful area spinal nerve root peripheral nerve trigger point acupuncture point

Physiological Effects of IFC::

Physiological Effects of IFC: Relief of Pain Reduction of Swelling

 Relief of Pain :

 Relief of Pain reduce the spasm produce by the pain, unnatural movement or postures and decrease the production of more painful strain The difference of frequency must be at 80-100Hz for an analgesic effect with a vasodilator effect on the tissues. IT IS NOT EFFECTIVE in post-traumatic pain in the acute stages!!! IT IS EFFICIENT in cases of chronic pain with or without swelling.

 Reduction of swelling/oedema :

 Reduction of swelling/oedema  important because organization of the exudates leads to the formation of adhesions and impairment  of function, the difference between the frequency must be at 1-30Hz  permeability of the cell mb. helps ion movement to and from cells: -  venous and lymphatic flow, - tone of tissues and vessels


INDICATIONS: Low Back Pain sports injuries atrophy prevention strains, sprains, headache, migraine, Arthritis Tendonitis Fibromyalgia Edema Reduction Fracture Healing etc


Contraindications: 1) Malignant tumours  direct stimulation of tumour is an CI, but referred pain from cancer or metastasis can be treated 2) Arterial disease  the stimulatory effect of the current could produce embolus 3) Deep Vein Thrombosis  in the acute phase it can increase the inflammation and to dislocate the thrombi 4) Infective conditions  due to the stimulatory effects of the current could appear a spread or exacerbate of the infection 5) Artificial pacemakers on the heart 6) Pregnant Uterus  it is not safe for foetus, may be use only superficially on ligaments in the case of joint strain 7) Condition of haemorrhage  stimulating effect can  bleeding 8) 8) Large open wounds  these will cause concentration of the current and distortion of the IF field 9) Dermatological conditions  IFC may exacerbate any dermatological condition in the region being treated.

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To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor. - Oliver Wendell Holmes Thank You…

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