Cartoon by Lenny Wos
This is a method of providing pain relief without medication. It works by stimulating the nerves to either distract them from sending pain signals to the brain, or by stimulating the brain to produce natural painkillers, which are stored within the body.
Increased local blood flow
Reduction of oedema
Various forms are used, as appropriate, to treat injury to different tissue types and at different stages.
Electro Physical Agents:
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
Pulsed Shortwave Therapy
I often use Interferential therapy (electrical stimulation) for pain relief. Depending on the type of injury, I can apply higher (90-130Hz) or lower (2-5Hz) frequencies to activate the body's natural opioid mechanisms (Watson, 2010).
NHS (2016) “What is Electrotherapy?”
Watson, T. (2010). Electrotherapy. Chapter 5 in : The Student's Companion to Physiotherapy: A Survival Guide. N. Southorn (Editor). Edinburgh, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier