A nerve impulse can be initiated by an electrical stimulus. Faradic machines are electrical stimulators and the current is used to stimulate a motor nerve and so produce a contraction of the muscle it supplies.
Indications for electrotherapy: to produce a muscle contraction where the patient finds difficulty by voluntary means, e.g. after injury or prolonged immobilisation. It also can be used for the reduction of oedema (swelling), for prevention and loosening of scar tissue, to stimulate muscle activity and to preserve muscle tone.
Muscle ‘Tone’ is the muscle’s resistance to stretching. A flabby muscle is like an old piece of elastic (it has lost its tone or stretch). After faradic treatments, a muscle will regain this tone and so shorten and take up a smaller area (‘toning’ effect).
Circulation: a very important fact of faradic treatments is that the circulation of blood is increased, both generally and locally within the body. Muscle contraction and relaxation is the major factor keeping the blood moving and this action, acting as a pump, aids the return flow of blood towards the heart the constant tone exerts pressure on the walls of the veins to keep the ‘highways and byways’ of this system open.
The general health of the body is dependent on effective circulation; it is the blood which is the ‘transport system’ of the body. It takes oxygen and nutrients to every individual cell of the body, takes away carbon dioxide and waste products to be excreted from the body, and this is an essential part of the metabolism of the tissues.
It carries hormones, and white blood cells to fight infection, and plays a large part in the regulation of the temperature of the body by spreading the heat throughout this system. The increase of circulation locally can be of value in the treatment of problems that develop due to poor circulation.
These factors of circulation all contribute to making the body as a whole more healthy and so help to produce a feeling of well-being. Many people have commented that after a course of electrotherapy, they feel more energetic and have much more vitality.