The principal forms of home-use electrotherapy* are Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), NeuroMuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES), and InterFerential Therapy (IFT).
TENS machines are available from ourselves and most pharmacists, and is used for pain relief.
NMES machines are available from various online suppliers, or from ourselves on demand, and are used to assist build muscle tone.
IFT machines are generally more expensive and more complex, but can be purchased on demand.
* There are, of course, further forms that can be used in the clinic.
How It Works::
Basically these three therapies all pass electrical energy through your body between self-adhesive electrodes (don't worry, very little energy). This energy stimulates the nerves locally to "fire", and carry their normal message to wherever they would normally take it.
Different frequencies of electrical energy, and different patterns of energy "pulse" encourage different nerve types to fire.
TENS causes sensory nerves to fire, which alters your perception of pain, by overloading the sensory pathways.
NMES causes motor nerves to fire, causing a small muscular twitch, which helps to reduce swelling, and increase blood flow, helping the healing process. This twitch can also help increase the strength of a withered muscle; helping to stabilise an area.
IFT is a current that can mimic both TENS and NMES, but is at a much higher frequency, allowing it to pass through the skin much more effectively, improving patient comfort.
Possible side-effects include electrical burn, but only if the electrodes are towards end of useable life or peel part way off.