What is Electric Muscle Stimulation / Interferential?
Abbreviated EMS/IF, this treatment involves the placing sticky electrodes (2-4) to the body of the patient near an area of concern, and applying a low electric current to the tissues. This treatment lasts 10-20 minutes depending on the desired result, and can be utilized for a variety of issues. EMS works excellent for pain modulation, in the fact that it blocks peripheral pain reception during its application. The body can only experience particular sensations at once, and the application of EMS overrides the pain sensation in turn for a “brush like” feeling between the electrodes.
Interferential is similar in its application, but it requires the use of 4 pads which send 2 paired signals that “interfere” with each other causing a numb like feeling in the area treated for a period of time. Some patients report that the feeling is only prominent during the active treatment period, while others state they experience relief for upwards of an hour post treatment. This particular treatment also causes localized tissues to relax and potentially facilitates a more responsive treatment when coupled with other chiropractic treatment options.
In our office, this treatment is typically used in conjunction with moist heat and flexion distraction therapy, but these therapies are not required to be utilized together.