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Electrotherapy: What Is It & How Does it Work?

Physiotherapists can employ a wide range of tools and techniques when treating patients with a wide variety of problems, and electrotherapy is one of them. When you visit a physiotherapist in Port Moody & Coquitlam, they’ll perform a complete examination and then concentrate on designing a treatment plan consisting of specific, tailored exercises, helpful stretching techniques, careful and calculated manipulation, and they may also use several different forms of electrotherapy.

Electrotherapy is a painless process and delivers tailored levels of stimulation via specialized devices to target nerves, muscles, and tendons, promoting blood flow and healing and relieving the pain associated with injuries or chronic problems.

Electrotherapy in Port Moody & Coquitlam: How Does it Work?

Electrotherapy can be used to treat chronic pain, musculoskeletal injuries, and nerve pain with measured electrical stimulation. It’s an extremely gentle method of treatment that works in a number of different ways, depending on the machine employed:

· Electrical impulses are capable of blocking pain signals carried by nerves throughout the body

· Electrotherapy can help to release endorphins, which are the body’s natural chemical method for controlling pain

· Where atrophy occurs, electrotherapy can stimulate muscle tissues and reduce problems

· Electrotherapy improves circulation and promotes faster healing

· Electrotherapy can be used to reduce inflammation

What are the Different Types of Electrotherapy Treatments?

There are different devices that deliver electrotherapy in different ways. In some instances, your therapist will place electrode pads placed on your skin using adhesives that are connected to a specialized device for generating an electrical charge. The pads are designed to transfer the electrical energy through the skin and into your body.

Alternatively, your physiotherapist may deliver electrical waves to your body using a transducer that employs a special gel to transmit specialized ultrasound waves into your body. When you attend physiotherapy in Port Moody or Coquitlam, your physiotherapist may employ a variety of different electrotherapy methods:

Electrical Muscle Stimulation (Often called EMS)

While some methods of electrotherapy target nerves, EMS doesn’t target nerves; it targets muscle tissue and is designed to contract them by exploiting the body’s natural motor neurons. EMS is typically employed to treat atrophy.

Shockwave Electrotherapy

Shockwave therapy delivers high-energy acoustic waves. It can be used with a transducer and specialized gel to release trigger points and reduce inflammation. Physiotherapists often use this method to treat musculoskeletal problems such as tennis or golfer’s elbow.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS machine)

You’ve likely heard about TENS before. The physiotherapist will use a small device that delivers electrical pulses, stimulating nerves and reducing pain

Therapeutic Ultrasound Treatment

This treatment causes a heating effect in the body’s tissues, such as tendons and muscles, and promotes good circulation. It’s often used to speed up healing and employs a transducer. Your physio might turn to Therapeutic ultrasound to treat knee injuries or to address tendonitis.

Interferential Electrotherapy Treatment

This method is sometimes referred to as IFT and uses a low-frequency pulse to stimulate muscles and reduce pain. It’s a better alternative than TENS for some patients.


Just like traditional acupuncture, electroacupuncture employs small needles inserted by the therapist at strategic points around the body. Then, an electrical current is passed through the needles traveling between the probes to stimulate tissues.

Benefits of Electrotherapy

Electrotherapy is an important and very versatile part of the physio’s arsenal when battling pain, injury and promoting a quick recovery. Your physiotherapist can use electrotherapy in a wide variety of different ways to reduce nerve pain, promote muscle healing, control pain without drugs, and prevent or reverse muscle atrophy.

Not only that, but electrotherapy can be used to speed up wound healing after a procedure of injury, and unlike using prescription drugs, it comes with minimal or zero side effects.

Physiotherapy in Port Moody & Coquitlam

If you’re currently experiencing pain, discomfort, or reduced mobility due to a procedure, injury, or age-related problems, you don’t need to suffer in silence. Physiotherapy employs a broad selection of different techniques and treatments that are all designed to alleviate symptoms, promote a faster recovery, and even prevent future problems.

Here at Inspine Therapy, when you make an appointment with one of our team of highly-trained physios, you’ll receive a thorough initial assessment and benefit from a unique, custom-designed treatment plan.


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