Electrotherapy is the use of medical electrical energy devices to administer treatment. Physiotherapist can administer electrotherapy, to provide pain relief and facilitate healing, as an adjunct to our education, exercise prescription and manual approach. Electrotherapy has a wealth of scientific, evidence-based research to support its use as an adjunct to improve the outcomes of standard physiotherapy treatment.
The main methods of electrotherapy used at the Protec Physiotherapy Clinic are as follows:
Therapeutic ultrasound is just about the most popular and evidenced of the Electrotherapy devices within Physiotherapy, however strictly speaking, it is not 'electrotherapy' but high frequency sound waves producing mechanical vibration known as ultrasound. The frequencies used in therapy are typically between 1.0 and 3.0 MHz (1 MHz = 1 million cycles per second). The sound waves pass through the skin causing the tissues in the affected area to vibrate.
Therapeutic ultrasound can improve blood flow and improve the repair process of soft tissue injuries. is generally used during the healing process for ligaments and tendon injuries, such as in common knee and ankle injuries.
Shockwave therapy, also known as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT), is a clinically proven and highly effective treatment for chronic injuries and certain bone conditions.
An extracorporeal shockwave is a non-invasive, high energy pressure wave that passes into the body via a hand-held probe. A rapidly-moving projectile transfers its energy to the treatment head. The radial shockwaves that are generated spread out and are absorbed by the area of the body that has to be treated. The shockwaves create an increase in inflammation and blood flow to the target area and can break down fibrous scar tissue which builds up over time, especially with chronic conditions.
Shockwave therapy can be effective on a wide range of chronic problems. Here are some examples of conditions where shockwave has been shown to effectively treat symptoms and improve function:
Plantar fasciitis (medial arch pain)
Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
Patellar tendinitis (jumper‘s knee)
Achilles tendinitis (heel pain)
Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome (lateral hip pain)
Proximal hamstring tendinitis
Shockwave is best utilised alongside a comprehensive rehabilitation programme that typically begins once the shockwave treatment is completed.
Shockwave is normally conducted over 3-5 sessions.
Due to the specialised nature of this device and treatment, shockwave therapy is not included in a standard Physiotherapy treatment and additional costs will be involved.