Interferential Therapy (IFT)

An Overview of Inter Ferential Therapy (IFT)

IFT is a technique that uses two electrical currents of varying frequencies passing through the treated area. When two currents in close proximity are found, a third frequency is created, known as an interferential current. This current interacts with nerve cells and tissue to reduce swelling, relieve spasms and muscles, and promote healing. Inter Ferential Therapy can be used on virtually any part of the body, usually by simply placing the electrodes on the topical area and then changing the intensity and pattern of the current. The results of IFT can be immediate and last for days or weeks.

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What is Interferential Therapy (IFT)?

Interferential Therapy (IFT) is a non-invasive physical therapy for pain relief and tissue repair. It uses low-frequency electrical currents that generate a frequency intending to prevent pain signals from being transmitted to the brain. This frequency is called an interferential current or IFC. IFT is part of a comprehensive rehabilitation program, where it can help decrease inflammation, muscle spasms, and pain while promoting tissue healing.

Types of IFT Treatment

There are two types of IFT machines. One's only for professional use—the other's light, portable, and usable even with little to no training. Professional machines for IFT treatment offer more control and are more efficient. That's because the effects of this therapy depend on the machine's operation.

  • The frequency of the beats needs to be perfect.
  • Operators must adjust the intensity of the currents to provide optimal pain relief.
  • How you place the IFT machine's electrodes on the patient's body also matters.
  • The injured body parts must be localized so the patient feels the therapy's effects.

Here's how IFT treatment differs based on the types of frequencies the operator creates:

  • Vector Effects – Create frequency fields that cover large areas. Treat injuries that are hard to localize (e.g., neck pain).
  • Frequency Swings - Swing frequencies between 0 and 100 Hz in specific periods. Create rhythmic frequency swings to create maximum relief in acutely injured body parts.
  • Relentless Frequency – Expose the patient to specific frequencies for long periods. This approach is good for getting responses from particular tissues.

How Does IFT Help in Pain Management

IFT helps to reduce inflammation, which can decrease the amount of pain that a person suffers. It can reduce pain associated with acute and chronic conditions, including arthritis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and plantar fasciitis. IFT can also be part of a comprehensive rehabilitation program, which can help reduce pain and speed recovery time.

Benefits and Uses of IFT

There are several benefits of IFT physiotherapy. The beat frequency currents from IFT machines help stimulate the muscles to contract. Secondly, they heal the nerves that carry pain.

  • Providing instantaneous pain relief to deep tissue injuries.
  • Constant contraction of muscles creates relaxing effects. When spasmodic muscles relax, our blood circulation improves.
  • Better blood circulation leads to faster soft tissue repair.
  • Contraction of muscles reduces swelling, bruising, and inflammation.
  • The vibrations eliminate harmful substances, such as toxins, from the affected areas.
  • Increasing muscle stimulation improves patients' metabolic rates.
  • Healthier blood circulation also leads to decreasing blood pressure.
  • Treating chronic and painful ligament injuries with this non-invasive therapy is more manageable.
  • Constant physiotherapy from IFT machines also eliminates long-term joint movement restrictions.
  • Post-surgery IFT physiotherapy helps patients restore their lost movement of muscles.

Conditions Treated by IFT

The benefits of IFT Physiotherapy apply to many painful conditions. Some of them include the following:

  • Cervical Spondylosis – IFT for shoulder pain helps cure neck and spine degenerative osteoarthritis. It cures muscle spasms and gradually decreases the amount of pain patients experience.
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis – IFT for shoulder pain can cure inflammatory arthritis in the vertebrae. The frequencies prevent wastage buildup in injured locations. A damaged vertebra heals faster.
  • Osteoarthritis of the Knee – Regular IFT physiotherapy loosens the tendons around the knee area. The frequencies also promote the production of endorphins which causes the inflamed muscles and tendons to heal faster.
  • Edema – Patients with this condition have too much watery fluid in their tissues. The vibrations from the IFT treatment frequencies eliminate extra fluids from the tissues. Better circulation also leads to these fluids exiting the affected areas faster.

Some other standard conditions of IFT physiotherapy can heal frozen shoulder (chronic shoulder pain), rheumatoid arthritis, disc herniation, spinal canal stenosis, and all types of muscle and ligamentous injuries.

Who Can Benefit from IFT

Interferential Therapy (IFT) is a safe and effective treatment option for musculoskeletal conditions. Here are some examples of individuals who may benefit from IFT therapy:

  1. Patients with Chronic Pain: IFT can be a highly effective treatment option for chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, or chronic low back pain.
  2. Athletes: IFT can help athletes recover from injuries, improve circulation, and reduce inflammation. It can also be used to improve athletic performance by stimulating muscle contractions.
  3. Individuals with Acute Injuries: IFT can manage pain and promote healing following acute injuries, such as sprains, strains, or fractures.
  4. Seniors: IFT can be a useful treatment option for seniors experiencing age-related pain and stiffness or recovering from surgery.
  5. Individuals with Peripheral Neuropathy: IFT can be an effective treatment option for patients with peripheral neuropathy, which can cause numbness, pain, and tingling in the extremities.
  6. Patients with Tension Headaches: IFT can help manage tension headaches by reducing muscle tension in the neck and shoulders.
  7. Patients with Joint Pain: IFT can manage pain and reduce inflammation associated with joint pain conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

It's important to note that IFT may not be appropriate for everyone. Patients should consult with their healthcare provider to determine if IFT is a suitable treatment option for their specific condition.

Risks of IFT Physiotherapy

Professional IFT Physiotherapy is very safe. Using IFT machines at home can be risky.

  • Users must carefully maintain the machine's electrodes, electrode covers, and other parts.
  • They must also be aware of infection risks. Avoid using your IFT machine on multiple people.
  • Use larger electrode systems. Electrode positioning is challenging with small electrodes. Large electrodes ensure suitable coverage of injured areas of the body for stimulation.
  • IFT machines with closely spaced electrodes often cause patients to suffer from superficial tissue irritation.
  • In IFT physiotherapy, higher stimulation frequencies pass quickly through the skin. Lower frequencies require a lot of electrical energy input. They are unable to reach deeper tissues. They create uneasiness in the superficial tissues and the skin—the higher the stimulation frequency, the lower the discomfort from the currents.

Choosing the Right Doctor for IFT 

Choosing the right doctor for Interferential Therapy (IFT) involves finding a licensed and experienced healthcare professional specializing in this type of treatment. Try to look for an experienced doctor who has treated patients with similar conditions as yours, is easy to communicate with, and is available for ongoing care. Consider the doctor's location and scheduling options to ensure that you can attend appointments regularly. Referrals and recommendations from friends, family, or other healthcare professionals can also help find a doctor who has a good reputation and a track record of providing effective treatment.

IFT Therapy at Home

 IFT can be done at home through online therapy sessions or self-help resources such as books or workbooks. Working with a licensed therapist is important to ensure you are getting the appropriate guidance and support. With the right tools and guidance, IFT can help you improve your relationships, manage conflicts, and improve your overall well-being.

Maximizing Recovery with Interferential Therapy

Physiotattva’s expert Interferential therapy can be an effective treatment option for musculoskeletal conditions. By using electrical currents to reduce pain and inflammation and promote healing, IFT can help maximize recovery and improve overall function. To maximize the benefits of IFT therapy, it is important to work with a qualified healthcare professional to determine the appropriate treatment parameters and monitor progress. Our physiotherapist provides IFT therapy with other treatment modalities, such as exercise, stretching, and manual therapy, can help further improve recovery outcomes. With proper use and guidance, IFT therapy can be a valuable tool for individuals seeking to reduce pain, improve function, and enhance the overall quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does IFT strengthen muscles?
IFT is known to be an effective technique to strengthen muscles. The beat frequency currents produced by the machines stimulate muscle contraction which helps reduce inflammation, bruising, strain, and spasms. Further, stimulating the tissue increases metabolism, flexibility, movement, and circulation.
What is IFT physiotherapy?
Interferential Therapy (IFT) Physiotherapy is a form of electrotherapy used for pain management. It follows the basic principle of using low-frequency currents that elicit muscle contraction and promote healing.
Can IFT be done at home?
IFT is a commonly used physiotherapy/electrotherapy technique for pain relief. This is achieved by stimulating the production of endorphins. Since the IFT machines are small, portable, and easy to use, treatment can be administered by a trained expert in the comfort of your home.

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Log online and fill out our online registration page and get to book an appointment with us at PhysioTattva.
It is super easy and less time-consuming.
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