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Electrotherapy

We have ultrasound, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, microcurrent and our osteopath has interferential therapy available.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a therapeutic modality that has been used byphysiotherapists and osteopaths since the 1940s. Ultrasound is applied using around-headed wand or probe that is put in direct contact with the patient’s skin. Ultrasound water based gel is used on all surfaces of the head to facilitate in the transmission of the ultrasonic waves. Therapeutic ultrasound is in the frequency range of about 0.8-3.0 MHz.

The waves are generated by a piezoelectric effect caused bythe vibration of crystals within the head of the wand/probe. The sound waves that pass through the skin cause a vibration of the local tissues. This vibration or cavitation can cause a deep heating locally though usually no sensation of heat will be felt by the patient. In situations where a heating effect is not desirable, such as a fresh injury with acute inflammation, the ultrasound can be pulsed rather than continuously transmitted.

Ultrasound can produce many effects other than just the potential heating effect. It has been shown to cause increases in tissue relaxation, local blood flow, and scar tissue breakdown. The effect of the increase in local blood flow can be used to help reduce local swelling andchronic inflammation, and, according to some studies, promote bone fracture healing. The intensity or power density of the ultrasound can be adjusted depending on the desired effect.

Ultrasound can also be used to achieve phonophoresis. Thisis a non-invasive way of administering medications to tissues below the skin; perfect for patients who are uncomfortable with injections. With this technique, the ultrasonic energy forces the medication through the skin. In the clinic we oftenuse a gel with copper salicylate to reduce inflammation.

A typical ultrasound treatment will take from 3-5 minutes depending on the size of the area being treated. In cases where scar tissuebreakdown is the goal, this treatment time can be much longer. During treatment the head of the ultrasound probe is kept in constant motion so the patient should feel no discomfort at all.

Some conditions treated with ultrasound include tendonitis, non-acute joint swelling and muscle spasm. Contraindications of ultrasoundinclude local malignancy, metal implants below the area being treated, local acute infection, vascular abnormalities, and directly on the abdomen of pregnant women.

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy

Pulsed negative magnetic field therapy increases ATP energy production within the cells. Sick cells that tend to be affected by heavy metals lack a positive charge and when treated with a negative magnetic field the cells electrical charge is changed improving the cells ability to function. 

Magnetic fields affect pain perception in many different ways. These actions are both direct and indirect. Direct effects of magnetic fields are: neuron firing, calcium ion movement, membrane potentials, endorphin levels, nitric oxide, dopamine levels, acupuncture actions and nerve regeneration. Indirect benefits of magnetic fields on physiologic function are on: circulation, muscle, edema, tissue oxygen, inflammation, healing, prostaglandins, cellular metabolism and cell energy levels. This treatment can be added to many other therapies for extra benefit.

Benefits of PEMF

  • Increased blood supply to all areas, body and legs
  • New blood vessels (revascularization) form where needed
  • Oxygen increase in blood and therefore muscles, tissues, skin
  • Increased oxygen use by all cells in areas treated with PMF
  • Polarizes in addition to standard polarization, the cell wall of all cells treated with PMF
  • Reduces swelling
  • Eliminates pain
  • No effect on heart rate or blood pressure
  • Ionic migration = movement of potassium, chloride, calcium, protein through every cell wall
  • Improved energy condition of all cells treated with PMF therapy
  • Resistance and body defences against infection and inflammation are optimized