Since the discovery during the Roman era that standing on an electric fish could produce pain relief, electrotherapy has played an increasing role in various branches of health care. It has become a core component of medical imaging technology as well as a part of a wide range of modalities designed to reduce pain or promote faster healing.
Electrotherapy is employed in medical ultrasound imaging that is used to help diagnose injuries or other abnormalities affecting soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons and muscles. In addition, it is used in TENS or IFT machines to introduce electrical signals into the body in order to reduce pain by overwhelming the channels used to transmit pain signals to the brain.
Electrical signals may also be passed through muscle tissues in order to re-educate atrophied muscles that have been underused for prolonged periods as a result of injury or disease.
Laser technology is another key application of electrotherapy that has been rising noticeably in recent years. Laser ( Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) uses high intensity light beams of specific wavelengths for pain relief and other therapeutic benefits.