Physiotherapists sometimes use electrical devices to stimulate healing and produce pain relief.
Ultrasound therapy is ultrasonic waves applied to the body to help increase blood flow to the injured area. This process aids removal of inflammatory toxins increases nutritional circulation and assists healing. It does not produce an audible sound and is not painful.
Interferential therapy involves applying low-level alternating currents through the tissues which produce a tingling sensation. These currents stimulate the tissues to decrease pain and swelling.
It is not painful but is intended to give a strong sensory input to the body.
PARAFFIN WAX BATH THERAPY
The temperature inside the hydrocollator ranges between 65–80ºC. The aim of the hydrocollator pack is to raise the body temperature at 40–45ºC. Hydrocollator packs are available in various sizes and shapes. The size and shape of the pack should be chosen on the basis of an area being treated. The common sizes are small (for smaller joints like elbow, ankle), large (for large joints like hip and back), contoured (for cervical spine). When used, hydrocollator packs are taken out of apparatus by means of tongs and wrapped in a towel.
The total treatment time is around 8-10 minutes.
Effects and Uses:
1. On muscular spasm: The most important physiological effect of hot pack is that
it relieves the muscular spasm very quickly. Moist heat provided by the hydrocollator pack is beneficial for relieving the muscular spasm.
2. Local rise in temperature: The rise in local body temperature occurs following hot packs application. The heat is transferred by means of conduction from hot packs
to skin and superficial tissues. Local rise in temperature has many effects including increasing circulation, relieving spasm and thus relieving pain.
3. Increase of local circulation: The local circulation around the area is also increased. It provides fresh supply of blood and nutrition. It reduces the waste products of metabolism from the area.
4. Skin and connective tissue: Skin becomes supple and elasticity of connective tissue is also increased when combined with stretching.
5. Relieve of pain: Pain is relieved by application of hot packs. Pain relief following hot pack application may occur due to decreased nerve conduction velocity or elevated pain threshold. It may be due to sedative or counter irritation effect by heat. Pain relieve may be associated with relieve of muscular spasm and increase in joint range of motion.
The hot packs should not be used in the area of:
i. Impaired skin sensation
ii. Open wounds
iii. Recent hemorrhage
iv. Skin allergy
v. Impaired circulation.