Healing Using Electromagnetic Therapy, Part I
There are several tools available for use in women's health physiotherapy using electromagnetic energy, such as sound waves, light waves or radio waves. These techniques are called therapeutic modalities, and they address a vast array of conditions and symptoms that have both external and internal effects.
Electrophysical stimulation therapies might or might not use electricity, heat, light or vibration. This article features modalities that use waves to penetrate bodily tissues. They are non-invasive and therefore very safe when administered by a trained professional. However, there are contra-indications for these treatments, so your practitioner will ask you a lot of questions to determine the best approach for your specific needs.
This is part I of a two-part feature on the use of electromagnetic stimulation in women's health physiotherapy. This article focuses on three of the top treatments using electrophysical therapies: therapeutic ultrasound, laser treatment and INDIBA Activ. We will consider how they can be used to promote women's health and treat problems from incontinence to painful intercourse to scars.
How INDIBA Can Support Pelvic Health
INDIBA is a solution for physiotherapy, aesthetics and even veterinary problems utilising radio frequency electromagnetic current. It is offered by certain specifically trained physiotherapists, such as the women's physio specialists at PelviCare. The radio waves are used to stimulate tissue repair, relieving a vast array of symptoms with no side effects. It's suitable for most people, including those with metal implants and is safe for use around the eye, breast or genital areas.
The soft tissues of the body are very receptive to INDIBA radio waves, especially when the process is combined with manual therapy and other physio techniques. It stimulates and reorganises collagen fibres to reduce inflammation, pain, adhesions and fibrosis. Affected tissue can be improved considerably, making INDIBA an excellent tool for treating a wide range of issues related to pelvic health.
Features of INDIBA
- accelerates the body's natural recovery process
- targets specific areas with minimal energy being absorbed by the skin
- can be thermal (utilising heat) or non-thermal
- quick and painless with no downtime and no side effects
- reduces pain and inflammation
- used for treating vaginal, urinary and rectal problems or menopause symptoms
- can improve vaginal muscle tone and the systems that support healthy hydration
- stand-alone treatment or as a supplement to other usual gynaecological techniques
Conditions Suitable for INDIBA Treatment
Because the current passes all the way through the body, INDIBA is an ideal treatment for reaching deep tissues. Furthermore, while other similar treatments, such as laser therapy, only have an effect while it's being administered, the INDIBA effects keep working for at least 45 minutes after the treatment stops.
INDIBA can be used to improve women's health by treating the following issues:
- Vaginal rejuvenation: vaginal laxity, (internal and external), inflammation, pain and poor muscle tone.
- Vaginal dryness: poor hydration, pain and itching
- Menopause: GSM (genitourinary syndrome of menopause, or atrophy of the vulva and/or vagina), vaginal dryness, lack of lubrication, vaginal discomfort, burning and pain
- Incontinence: urinary or faecal
- Pain Management: menopause symptoms, endometriosis, dyspareunia, vaginismus, vulvodynia and post-surgery
- Musculoskeletal pain: lower back, neck, joints, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Mother's Thumb (De Quervain's Tenosynovitis)
- Post-Vaginal Surgery or Caesarean section: Inflammation, pain, episiotomy, tearing, oedema and scars
Contraindications to INDIBA Therapy
You will not be suitable for INDIBA treatment if you have a pacemaker or another type of electronic implant or if you are pregnant. Furthermore, it isn't advised for areas with an active infection or for those suffering from thrombophlebitis.
Therapeutic Ultrasound for Women's Physio
Therapeutic ultrasound is effective in treating a wide range of pregnancy-related musculoskeletal problems, particularly after-birth injuries and any associated inflammation. It utilises sound waves to vibrate the tissues and can be both thermal, creating heat and vibration, and mechanical, manipulating the pressure of bodily fluids to create shockwaves.
Features of Therapeutic Ultrasound
Therapeutic ultrasound is generally painless and can work very superficially on the surface of the skin or can be focused on deeper tissue without affecting the skin or tissue close to the surface. Because it's an effective treatment for inflammation, it's ideal for use around the perineum after childbirth, for example, including tearing, episiotomy, haemorrhoids or swelling of the labia. Furthermore, as it's a safe, non-invasive procedure, it can start within 24 hours of giving birth for the following issues:
- increased tissue relaxation, blood flow and scar tissue breakdown
- swelling and inflammation
- treatment for mastitis/blocked ducts
- tissue healing
- inflammation or injury
Contraindications and Potential Side Effects of Therapeutic Ultrasound
Ultrasound in all its forms is generally very safe, particularly when administered by a trained professional such as a women's health physiotherapist. The potential side effects, which are rare, include superficial burning and discomfort, internal bleeding or scarring from shockwaves.
Contraindications for therapeutic ultrasound are similar to other electromagnetic energy therapies:
- not for use near the womb during pregnancy
- not generally used over the spine, eyes, pacemakers or other implants
- active infections or bleeding in the area
- recent radiotherapy
- heart or circulatory problems
- cancer in the area of treatment
- poor skin condition in the area of treatment
Laser Therapy for Women's Health Matters
Lasers use intense light waves as a safe and effective therapy for a wide range of medical conditions, including soft tissue and sports injuries, arthritic conditions, repetitive stress injuries and healing of wounds. In physiotherapy, lasers are used to relieve pain and inflammation and to promote healing. The use of lasers is considered a thermal treatment, but it does not necessarily produce heat.
Specific laser treatment targeted at pelvic floor dysfunction is limited. Some success in treating the pelvic floor and related pain has been reported using low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in the US, but at present this is not scientifically proven nor widely available. Research published in the Menopause journal in July 2021 suggested that vaginal menopause symptoms could be treated by laser therapy. However, this was disputed in a subsequent much larger study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Features of Laser Treatment
There are various types of laser treatment, used for different conditions. In general, the following features are typical of laser therapy.
- uses light to penetrate the skin no deeper than 15mm
- hair and skin absorb much of the energy, so it works best for surface problems, such as burns or open wounds
- stimulates the production of collagen, which is critical in the way the body repairs damaged tissue and heals wounds
- can be used for a wide range of therapeutic and cosmetic applications, including scar improvement, hair removal and skin resurfacing to reduce lines and blemishes
Contraindications and Potential Side Effects of Laser Therapy
There are many conditions that will make someone unsuitable to receive laser therapy, including, but not limited to, pregnancy, breastfeeding, infection, chronic skin diseases like psoriasis, cancer, fever, pacemakers and autoimmune disorders.
Laser procedures are conducted by doctors or other highly-skilled professionals who will take your full medical background to ensure the procedure is safe for your particular situation. However, there is still the possibility of side effects, including:
- redness, swelling, itching or pain
- bleeding or blisters
- changes in skin colour
For more information about physiotherapy treatments using therapeutic ultrasound or INDIBA Active, call Magdalena on 07877 017 936 or drop PelviCare an email. Alternatively, you can book an appointment online.
PelviCare Women's Health Physiotherapy is located in Greenwich, London, serving women across South London, East London, Essex, Kent and beyond.