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The therapeutic use of electricity.



(also electrotherapeutics), treatment by electric currents and electromagnetic fields. Electrotherapy involves the use of low-voltage direct currents alternating currents (including low-frequency pulsating currents), a high-tension constant electric field, or electromagnetic fields of different frequencies (including microwaves). Treatment involves local or general exposure with electrodes in procedures requiring electric current and without electrodes when using electromagnetic fields.

The numerous factors involved in electrotherapy and the possibility of changing their parameters make it possible to individualize the procedures. The use of electrotherapy in a pulsed mode is particularly effective, because the controllable frequency and duration of the pulses help normalize many disturbed physiological processes. Low-frequency pulsating currents produce effects similar to those of nerve impulses and exert a trophic influence on tissues, thereby normalizing impaired neuroendocrine regulation and selectively stimulating certain organs and systems. All methods of electrotherapy provoke general, that is, nonspecific, reactions, for example, intensification of blood flow, metabolism, tissue nutrition, and compensatory and defensive responses. In addition, each factor provokes specific reactions whose manifestations vary with its physical properties, as well as with the technique used and the characteristics of the organism.

As a result of advances in the study of the therapeutic action of physical factors and in electrical technology and electromedical instrument design, electrotherapy occupies a prominent place in the treatment of many diseases and in rehabilitation.


Anikin, M. M., and G. S. Varshaver. Osnovy fizioterapii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1950.
Liventsev, N. M., and A. R. Livenson. Elektromeditsinskaia apparatura, 4th ed. Moscow, 1974.
Spravochnik po fizioterapii. Edited by A. N. Obrosov. Moscow, 1976.
Dumoulin, J., and G. de Bisschop. Electrothérapie, 2nd ed. Paris, 1971.
Edel, H. Fibel der Electrodiagnostik und Electrotherapie, 3rd ed. Dresden, 1975.


References in periodicals archive ?
Effects of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on the H-reflex of muscles of different fibre type composition.
Alteration of interferential current and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation frequency: effects on nerve excitation.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) treatment outcome in long-term users.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation for knee osteoarthritic Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2000;4:CD002823.
TRANSCUTANEOUS Electrical Nerve Stimulation has been used for helping with pain relief for many years.
In the external neuromodulation category, the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation segment is expected to be the largest segment in the neuromodulation market.
External neuromodulation is categorized into transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and respiratory electrical stimulation (RES).
Washington, May 17 (ANI): Researchers suggest that women in labour should be allowed to use transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) - a non-drug method of pain management.
A TENS is a medication-free way to relieve pain and stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.
This is also the first transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device specifically authorized for use prior to the onset of pain.

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