Interferentialtherapy is a type of treatment performed by physiotherapists and occupationaltherapists, it requires the use of an interferential current machine. Interferential therapy is often compared toTENS and is thought to be a deeper, more aggressive version of it. “TENSdelivers extremely low frequencies (2-150 HZ), interferential uses mediumfrequencies (1000-40000 HZ). Medium frequencies travel in the tissue moreeasily, deeper and with less discomfort to the patient.
” (ELECTROTHERAPY DEVICES, n.d.).Currently RMT’s in BC may not practice interferential therapy as it is notunder our scope of practice; but if you are a licensed, practicing health careprofessional and your regulatory body allows the use of this type of medicalelectricity you may incorporate this into your practice.
However may be incorporated with massage being”used before manual therapy to help to decrease muscle spasm, and post-manualtherapy to help to decrease treatment ‘soreness” (Nelson, 1981) When applying thistechnique, the therapist will need “two or four pads applied around the areathat needs to be treated (with either a damp sponge or gel between the pads andthe skin)” (Interferential Therapy, n.d.) to allow thecurrents to pass through. From there the “therapist controls the machine andadjusts the current as is needed.
The patient will feel a mild to strongtingling sensation over the skin and the treatment usually lasts between 10 and20 minutes” (Interferential Therapy, n.d.). Effects ofinterferential therapy include a decrease in pain, stimulation of the muscles,reduction of edema and increasing circulation.
Some advantages ofusing interferential therapy is that it is well researched and has been usedfor many years; “it is safe, deep-seated lesions are easily treated, it is notnecessary for patients to have intact sensation, patients can move while havingtreatment, and in some cases exercise, with the interferential therapy actingas a pain block.” (Nelson, 1981). Although interferential therapy has researchsupporting it is safe, you would not perform this treatment “on individualswith pacemakers and near the low back or abdomen of pregnant women.” (Interferential Current (IFC) Equipment, n.d.).
Othercontraindications to this modality include the “Acute danger of hemorrhage, infectiveconditions (because of the stimulation of blood vessels), arterial disease andmalignancy” (Nelson, 1981)