Pain Relief with Electrotherapy
Pain relief without drugs is often not only effective, but can be entirely free of unwanted side effects. Electrotherapy is the most popular method of combating pain with many different electrotherapy devices now easily available and adapted for safe use at home. Electrotherapy machines are medical devices utilising proven types of electrotherapies that have been adapted for effective and safe home use. You can use electrotherapy devices as a stand alone treatment or alongside other therapies, such as pain killers or massage. For many people, electrotherapy is very effective and significantly reduces consumption of prescription drugs. Below we present some of the electrotherapy devices available from Win Health.
Pain Relief Electrotherapy
Drug Free Pain Relief
Much has been written about potentially life threatening adverse effects linked to a number of pain killers pain relieving pharmacological drugs (i.e. pain killing medication = pain killer). It is not surprising therefore, that many people who suffer chronic pain and prolonged discomfort are turning to non pharmacological alternatives for pain relief. Electrotherapy devices can be as effective in pain relief as medication, however, pain relief with electrotherapy carries an extra bonus of being free of frug related side effects. Most commonly used electrotherapy devices for pain relief are Tens machines, interferential therapy machines, high frequency tone therapy machines and phototherapy lasers.
Drug free pain relief can be achieved in many different ways. Alternative therapy practitioners, such as osteopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists can offer valuable and specialised advice to people wishing to reduce their intake of painkillers. Often simple methods, such as application of heat or warmth can be effective and helpful (i.e. Beurer Therapeutic Heat Pads, Beurer Heating Pads for Neck, Back and Abdomen, Beurer Foot Warmers). However, please note that experts advise that people do not stop pain relieving medication without a prior consultation with their doctor.
In this short introduction to Drug Free Pain Relief with Electrotherapy we list a number of different ways to address pain without medication or alongside medication by using diverse medical electrotherapy devices.
These drug free electrotherapy pain relief methods are as follows:
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
- Interferential Therapy
- High Frequency Tone Therapy
- Laser Phototherapy
- Vibration Therapy
- Ultrasound Therapy
- Pain Relief Guides
TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) has been designed to stimulate sensory nerve endings in order to decrease perception of pain. Electrical stimulus blocks pain signals passing along the nerves to the central nervous system as well as spearheads electrical inhibition process, which inhibits peripheral and autonomous nerves. TENS stimulus also stimulates production of endorphins - naturally produced chemical substances that change sensory perception.
TENS does not cure physiological conditions. TENS merely helps to control the perception of pain by stimulating sensory nerve endings, which blocks pain signals and by stimulating endorphin production for more normalised sympathetic function. Stimulation of the nerve fibres with mild electrical impulses can modify pre-existing sensations and change our perception of discomfort and pain. TENS stimulation is characterised by biphasic current and user selectable pulse width and pulse rate.
TENS function is often incorporated into electro muscular stimulators (EMS) designed to tone, rehabilitate, regenerate and build up muscle fibres after injuries, after stroke or during physical training. Examples of EMS with TENS function include SaneoSPORT, Neurotrac Sports & Neurotrac Sports XL, Neurotrac Rehab and Beurer EMS TENS. More recently, EMS therapy for the relief of venous disease has been introduced - VeinOPlus Stimulator combines EMS with TENS to provide relief from pain and discomfort caused by venous disease and venous insufficiency.
Conditions that respond to TENS include the following:
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Post Operative Pain, Post Amputation Pain, Back Pain, Lumbago, Sciatica, Whiplash, Sports Injuries, Neuralgia, Skeletal Pains, Muscle Aches, General Pain, Cancer Pain, Period Pain, Labour Pain, Tension and Travel Sickness.
TENS Machines available from Win Health:
- Neurotrac TENS
- Neurotrac MultiTENS
- Neurotrac Obstetric TENS
- Neurotrac Sports
- Neurotrac Sports XL
- Neurotrac Rehab
- Neurotrac IFC Rehab
- Beurer 2 Channel TENS EMS
- Beurer 4 Channel TENS EMS
- Beurer Back Pain TENS
- Femme Elite '3 in1' TENS for Women
- Flexi TENS
- Cefaly Cranial TENS
- VeinOPlus Stimulator - EMS with TENS
- Smart TENS
- SaneoSPORT EMS TENS
- SaneoVITAL EMS Massager with TENS Effect
- New Pocket Fit 4 TENS EMS
Interferential Therapy Stimulation
Interferential therapy is often called the 'deep TENS'. Interferential therapy stimulation differs from standard TENS and EMS.
During TENS or EMS low frequency electrical signals (i.e. 2 – 200 pulses/second) enter the surface of the skin below the skin electrodes.
Interferential stimulation depends on the interference (i.e. interaction) between 2 medium frequency electrical outputs from 2 different channels that differ in frequency. The current produced by one channel interacts (i.e. interferes) with the current of the other channel.
The process leads to ‘interference current’ operating frequency equal to the difference between the 2 interacting currents.
The frequencies used in interferential therapy stimulation are much greater than TENS and EMS currents and therefore the interferential currents are capable of reaching tissues at deeper levels.
Interferential therapy device on Win Health website:
The traditional Chinese acupuncture involved insertion of thin needles into the skin over specific points on the body with the purpose of re-balancing the flow of vital energy along the body's energy pathways. Acupuncture therapy alters body's inner energy flow and realigns the body's electrical fields, helping to normalise cellular processes and organ functions, relieve pain and improve healing.
In the modern healthcare, acupuncture maintains its important position as one of the most popular arms of alternative medicine backed by a growing wealth of clinical evidence of proven efficacy and safety. Today's acupuncturists use not only fine needles to stimulate acupuncture points, but also mild electrical currents and infrared laser light to stimulate acupuncture points for analgesia and pain relief, healing and restoration of health. Such non-invasive needle free acupuncture is painless and non-traumatic. Non-invasive needle free acupuncture can be performed with devices such as cold lasers or piezo-electric Tens pens and micro current acupuncture probes.
Acupuncture stimulates release of endogenous biochemical compounds - endorphins, dynorphins and enkephalins - that have 'morphine like' efficacy in decreasing the sensation of pain. These compounds are released at different levels of human nervous system and act as natural endogenous painkillers that help us to better tolerate pain and experience a feeling of well-being. Endorphins are released in the brain, whilst dynorphins and enkephalins are released in the spinal cord.
Acupuncture Devices on Win Health website:
The high frequency tone therapy is a form of modern electrotherapy, in which electric current is used to influence and enhance cellular processes. The higher the frequency employed, the greater the penetration of the current into the tissues. Common applications of electrotherapy include pain relief and muscular recovery. TENS and Interferential Therapy as described above are examples of conventional electrotherapies.
High frequency tone therapy - also called high frequency sound therapy, high tone therapy or horizontal therapy - is different and its effects are much more comprehensive than those of other electrotherapies (i.e. TENS or interferential therapy). The high tone therapy is able to produce bio-electric and bio-chemical effects in tissues at the same time. The high tone therapy normalises bio-electric and bio-chemical processes inside and outside the cells. The high tone therapy stimulates cells and tissues to mobilise, accelerate and use own endogenous 'self defence' resources to heal and repair. Hence, the high tone therapy produces natural physiological outcomes and delivers therapeutic effects entirely naturally and without side effects. The high frequency waves penetrate tissues deeply and painlessly and deliver outstanding therapeutic outcomes in pain relief.
High frequency tone therapy has the following therapeutic effects:
- activates cellular metabolic processes
- stimulates enzyme activities
- relieves pain
- reduces inflammation
- reduces swelling
- energises and normalises cells and tissues
- improves intercellular communication
- accelerates healing and tissue regeneration
- stimulates release of endorphins in central nervous system and helps to increase the feeling of well-being
High frequency tone therapy is entirely painless and sensation free and it can be applied continually for many hours at a time, if required, without worries about any unwanted side effects. High frequency tone therapy is effective in relieving of all types of musculoskeletal pain and joint pain, inflammation and swelling.
High frequency tone therapy is especially successful in helping people with painful joints and debilitating back pain that are due to cartilage deterioration. The high frequency tone therapy treatment improves the quality of the damaged cartilage, making it more elastic and resilient. The high frequency tone therapy is highly effective in reducing both the acute and the chronic pain.
High Frequency Tone Therapy Device on Win Health website:
Laser phototherapy is a treatment during which light energy is delivered to living tissues and when absorbed, a photobiological cellular response arises. Lasers are devices that generate light. Effective phototherapy requires a specific wavelength of light to be delivered in an appropriate dose. Laser phototherapy is beneficial in many conditions ranging from pain relief to wound healing.
Laser phototherapy energises tissues by delivering photon energy to living cells via irradiation with visible or invisible light in wavelengths between circa 400 - 1000 nm at appropriate dose. The absorbed light energy triggers biological reactions in the cells. Variety of endogenous chemical substances are produced in the cells and carried by blood and lymphatic flow to other parts of the system.
Therapeutic effects of laser phototherapy (i.e. irradiation with low level laser) include the following:
- increased production of ATP (Adenosine TriPhosphate)
- increased cellular metabolism
- increased collagen production
- increased enzyme production
- increased protein synthesis
- better blood flow
- better lymphatic flow and drainage
- reduced inflammation
Laser phototherapy is able to address many painful and inflammatory conditions and painful problems, ranging from pain relief to wound healing and sports injuries. Laser phototherapy also plays an increasing role in dermatology and skin rejuvenation.
Laser phototherapy is painless and non traumatic and can be used to treat acute injuries as well as chronic conditions. It is easy to apply and offers a possibility of convenient self treatments as many of the modern phototherapy lasers are cleared for home use.
For more information about laser phototherapy and laser phototherapy indications, refer to laser therapy guides and handbooks.
Phototherapy Lasers offered by Win Health:
- Beurer SoftLaser SL30
- B-CURE Laser
- DocLaser FAMILY
- DocLaser SPORT
- Delta Laser
- New Pocket Laservit
- TinniTool Tinnitus Relief Ear Laser
- Medic Laser
Vibration training is a low impact full body workout used to strengthen and tone up muscles. Vibration training is non-strenuous; yet, it desirably increases the load on the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints, contributing to gradual improvements in their strength, flexibility and the range of movements. Vibration training also boosts delivery of oxygen and nutrients, thus contributing to overall wellbeing and fitness. Some experts even say that 10 to 15 minutes vibration training exercise equates to full hour of conventional exercising.
Vibration technology was initially developed in the second half of the twentieth century by Russian scientists for use by Russian cosmonauts. Vibration training that imposed high loads on people was to help to slow down bone loss and muscle wasting caused by weightlessness in space.
More recently, vibration massage plates, also called power plates, are frequently used by athletes to top up their training efforts.
Vibration therapy has numerous applications in pain relief with vibrations shown to ease off pain and often provide lasting relief. Hand held vibration devices are applied near the area of pain or directly to trigger points.
Vibration Therapy Devices on Win Health website:
Magnetic field therapy is most commonly used in the management of problems of musculoskeletal origin due to its rehabilitative effects as well as analgesic, fibrolytic and decontractual (loosening ) effects. In particular, magnetic field therapy is suitable for the treatment of the following problems:
- Muscle contractures
- Cicatrisations of scar tissue
The above problems mainly occur due to activity related trauma with most frequent injuries presenting at the knee and ankle. Associated pain reduction can be achieved with magnetic therapy carried out over a number of treatment sessions.
However, sometimes similar problems arise as a result of natural aging processes (i.e. rheumatism, muscle loss, muscle weakening, worsening balance) and can lead to gradual reduction in the quality of life, if not successfully treated.
Electromagnetic field therapy (electromagnetotherapy) has been used successfully in medicine for decades. The first studies of the therapeutic effects of magnetic field date to early 1900. Much progress has been achieved since the early days of electromagnetotherapy, which is now becoming increasingly popular with therapists and patients due to its positive effects on human body, efficacy in addressing many heath issues and overall safety.
Electromagnetotherapy (electromagnetic field therapy) is based on the principle that sees the elements constituting human body are in fact ‘electromagnetic dipoles’ (i.e. having positive and negative charges, which can be influenced by an external electromagnetic field.
When the body suffers an illness or a pathological condition, the body’s internal dipole is altered. If at such an altered state an external electromagnetic field is applied, electromagnetic equilibrium could be restored.
When cellular health is compromised due to factors, such as infections, trauma or aging, the energy reserves stored in cells is depleted. Electromagnetic field therapy can recharge and regenerate cells showing energy deficit by acting on the electromagnetic dipoles of the cells.
Restoring cellular energy status to normality can take from few days to many weeks or months. Duration of therapy leading to successful outcomes depends on many critical factors, such as cell type, degree of energy depletion, acute or chronic condition, etc.
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) promotes metabolic exchange and enzymatic processes, exerting analgesic effects on treated tissues. Therapy with pulsed electromagnetic field has many applications and can help in cases of retarded ossification, arthrosis, osteoporosis, bed sores and other inflammatory and painful problems. Because PEMF reduces pain and discomfort, it can therefore help to reduce consumptions of pain killers, thus helping to reduce potential side effects associated with medication intake.
Primary therapeutic effects of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF) are as follows:
- Anti inflammatory effect (i.e. reduces inflammation)
- Bio-stimulating effect (i.e. increases cellular metabolism and normalises tissues)
- Positive effects of blood and circulation (i.e. accelerates healing of soft tissue and trophic lesions, improves oxygen pressure, reduces blood vessel constriction caused by arteriosclerosis, improves peripheral blood circulation to arms and legs, reduces symptoms of Reynaud’s Syndrome, etc.)
- Positive effects of central and peripheral nervous system (i.e. alters activity of brain cells)
- Positive effects on bone tissues (i.e. promotes osteogenesis, bone formation and bone regeneration)
Electromagnetotherapy Devices on Win Health website:
Ultrasound is an independent stand alone treatment modality used for pain relief, tissue healing and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal problems. In modern medicine, ultrasound therapy is frequently applied by physiotherapists, sports medicine therapists or even occupational therapists.
Ultrasound therapy utilises stimulation via high frequency sound waves. The frequency of these waves is so high that it cannot be received or heard by human ears.
The effects of ultrasound therapy are analgesic, fibrolytic and muscle relaxing. The most common conditions treat with ultrasound include musculoskeletal problems and issues related to tendons, such as periostitis, tendonitis, arthritis, muscle contractions and defined organised swellings.
Ultrasound therapy is normally applied directly to the surface of the skin over the painful area. Special ultrasound treatment gel is spread on the skin to provide conduction and penetration of the sound waves deeply into the tissues.
The ultrasound treatment is normally pain free, but some people may feel slight warming sensation in the skin.
Ultrasound therapy is effective for most people as well as it is safe to apply.
Ultrasound technology has been recently adapted for safe and effective home use.
Examples of modern ultrasonic devices are:
Pain Relief Books and Electrotherapy User Guides
Knowledge and awareness play important roles in effective pain relief. Books and guides written by professionals are often easy to read and to understand and offer good advice that can help pain suffers reduce pain, cope with their pain better and improve their quality of life.
Professional health practitioners can also guide you easily through self treatment applications, when using electrotherapy devices at home.
Resources presented on Win Health website:
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