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Interferential Therapy

Interferential Therapy



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Published by: Pikachu on Sep 21, 2008
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Sagar Naik
 Interferential Therapy (Notes)
Sagar Naik,
Interferential therapy is a form of electrical treatment in which twomedium-frequency currents are used to produce a low-frequency effect.
 Interferential  current can be defined as the transcutaneous application of alternating medium- frequency electrical currents, which are slightly out of phase through the tissues, amplitude modulated at low frequency for therapeutic purposes such as relief of  pain, improve circulation and enhances healing process.
Frequency used forinterferential therapy is 3500 Hz to 5000 Hz.
Z = 1 / 2
f C
Where, Z = skin impedance or capacitive resistance or skin interface or reactanceresistance or skin resistancef = frequency in Hertz (Hz)C = capacitance of skin in microfaradsFrom above formula,
 skin impedance is inversely proportional to frequency and capacitance of the skin
. Capacitance of the skin cannot be changed;hence by increasing the frequency the skin impedance can be lowered.Skin impedance is of two types namely,
 ohmic resistance
 capacitive resistance
.Ohmic resistance is developed due to skin and depends on followingfactors:
Ohmic resistance is inversely proportional to the size of the electrodes used.
Ohmic resistance is directly proportional to the dryness of the skin.
Ohmic resistance is directly proportional to the hairy and oily skin.Capacitive resistance is developed deep in the tissues due to electrolyticpotential difference generated in the cell membrane.
 Interferential currents have advantage of reducing the skin impedance or resistance
, and thus the discomfort normally incurred by traditional low-frequencycurrents, but still producing low-frequency effects within the tissues.
They are used to produce effects in deeper tissues of the body.
Production of Interferential Current: 
Interferential current is essentially a medium-frequency current that rhythmicallyincreases and decreases in amplitude at low frequency.
Sagar Naik
The principle upon which interferential therapy is based is that which producesthe interference effect where two medium frequency currents cross in thepatient’s tissues.
Two medium frequency currents are used to produce the interferential current.
They are known as carrier waves as they do not produce muscle nerve stimulation and are just used to get the greater depth of penetration and to produce the interferential current.
channel 2
channel 1
channel 1channel 2interferentialcurrent
 Interferential current is produced by mixing two medium-frequency currents that are slightly out of phase, either by applying them so that they
 within the tissues, or alternatively by mixing them within the stimulator prior to application (premodulated current).
Stimulus asynchronous
is applied for production of interferential current soWedensky inhibition doesn’t takes place and thereby there is no accommodationphenomenon. Stimulus asynchronous produces
Gilde-Meister effect
[In low-frequency currents, stimulus synchronous is used which causesWedensky inhibition and thus nerve or muscle gets accommodated to thatcurrent.Inability of tissue to respond during the refractory period due to stimulussynchronous current is known as
Wedensky inhibition 
One current is normally of fixed frequency, for example at 4000 Hz, and othercurrent is adjustable, for example between 4000 Hz and 4250 Hz.
Theoretically, the two currents summate or cancel each other out in a predictable manner, producing the resultant amplitude-modulated interferential current.
Sagar Naik
The frequency of the resultant current will be equal to the mean of the two original currents, and will vary in amplitude at a frequency equal to the difference between these two currents.
This later frequency is known as the
 amplitude-modulated frequency (AMF)
 beat frequency
Amplitude-Modulated Frequency (AMF): 
It is also known as the
 beat frequency
 AMF is defined as the difference between the frequencies of the two medium- frequency currents, which is produced in the tissues at the point where the two currents cross.
Amplitude of AMF is always higher than the amplitude of the two medium-frequency currents.
Nerve or cell membrane does not coincide with the intensity of AMF of thecurrent, which we give to the tissues.
AMF is a low-frequency current, which is produced deep inside the tissues.
For example, Circuit A 4000 Hz mediumCircuit B 3900 Hz frequencyBeat Frequency 100 Hz low frequency
AMF are of two types, which are as follows:
Static AMF:
By varying the frequency of the second circuit relative to the constantfrequency of the first, it is possible to produce a range of beat frequencies deepin the patient’s tissues. It can be constant or variable. It is used for thetreatment of localized or smaller areas.
Constant beat frequency is also known as selective beat frequency
Variable beat frequency is also known as automatic beat frequency.
0 to 5 Hz stimulates sympathetic nerves
5 to 10 Hz stimulates parasympathetic nerves
10 to 50 Hz stimulates motor nerves
50 to 90 Hz produces sedative and spasmolytic effect
90 to 100 Hz produce analgesic or pain relief effect
 Dynamic or vector or scanning AMF:
By varying the intensity of the second circuit relative to the constantintensity of the first, it is possible to produce the dynamic AMF. It is alsoknown as vector AMF or scanning AMF. This vector can be of 45
or 90
. Itis used for the treatment of larger areas.

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