Diabetic nerve pain can be crippling pain for many diabetic patients. Often the pain is exacerbated by lack of blood flow, less muscle elasticity due to inactivity, and a continuing chronic pain that disturbs one's ability to sleep, work or play.
There are several advantages of using electrotherapy such as interferential or TENS for decreasing the pain and for increasing blood flow to the painful area.
Tens or interferential therapy in the range of 75+ pulses per second, pps ( referred to as rate or cycles ) in a tens unit and in interferential the range of 8,075 - 8,150 pps is the desired range to combat the pain being felt. The higher frequencies are used to stimulate non-pain fibers so the pain is not felt unless some action is taken to cause further injury or pain. If that happens then the new pain stimulus is felt and neither the tens or interferential unit overcomes the new pain that is created by the injury. By activating non-pain nerve fibers the pain message is not allowed to be transmitted and without transmission there is no pain.
A patient is looking for some permanent change that will facilitate the permanent elimination of the pain, and to increase blood flow to the painful area, can add curative effects diminishing the pain as well as facilitating greater motion. This is accomplished by setting the rate at 1-35 pulses per second with a tens unit, or 8,001 - 8,0035 with an interferential unit. The amplitude ( intensity) is then raised to the point that visible motor (muscle) twitching is seen. The "muscle pumping" increases the blood flow to the area and with new nutrients and oxygen now starting there is possibility of tissue healing eliminating the pain. Lack of blood flow to an area for many diabetics is an ongoing problem and there must not have been a permanent impediment to restoring circulation in the affected area.
Reason for the lower pulses per second is the rate of conduction of muscle nerves is in range of generally accepted 1 - 35 pulses per second. At 35+ pulses per second the motor nerves create what is called a "fused contraction" and the motion is lost. When asked to "make a muscle" that is an example of fusing the muscle which can only be held for short periods of time before the muscle fatigues. The actual "pumping" of the muscle restores blood flow since our body is basically a contained system, within our skin, and the "pumping" in a confined area means something has to physically move. Easiest thing to move is the blood thus the patient has increased blood blow in the area.
With interferential the reason for the increased pulses per second in the 8,000 range is the 8,000 pulses are there only to reduce resistance of the skin so the stimulatory pulses can better target the nerves needed to achieve pain relief and increased blood flow.
Often it is beneficial for the patient to use a moist heat during the interferential treatment to increase blood flow and facilitate less resistance due to the higher moisture content on the surface, plus higher blood flow in the treated area as the body tries to dissipate the heat by increasing the blood flow to the area.
A FREE Trial is available for your patient, with a prescription from licensed M.D..