Interferential therapy is one of various types of physical therapy. It uses a mid-frequency electrical signal to treat muscular spasms and strains. The current produces a massaging effect over the affected area at periodic intervals, and this stimulates the secretion of endorphins, the body's natural pain relievers, thus relaxing strained muscles and promoting soft-tissue healing. Its use is contraindicated if the affected area has wounds, cuts or infections.
The basic principle of IFT is to use physiological effects of low frequency (at <250 pps) electrical stimulation of nerves without the associated painful and somewhat unpleasant side effects sometimes associated with low-frequency stimulation.
IFT is used in four clinical applications, to:
- Relieve pain
- Stimulate muscles
- Increase local blood flow
- Reduce edema