What Is IFT Treatment in Physiotherapy?

IFT physiotherapy for knee pain or as it is commonly known- inferential therapy is a form of electrotherapy that is effective for managing pain. Patients often ask- ‘Is IFT physiotherapy safe?’ and the answer to that is yes and no. If you do not have pre-existing health conditions or pregnancy, it is a great form of therapeutic treatment for your knee pain.

How Does the IFT Physiotherapy Machine Work?

The principle on which the IFT machine works is that it causes frequency currents of slightly different frequencies to interact and interfere with one another. It is effective for pain modulation as it produces low frequencies which have therapeutic effects on your painful symptoms without any of the side effects. The mechanism goes like this:

Suppose you have circuit 1 that carries 5000 Hz of frequency and Circuit 2 carrying 4980 Hz frequency, the frequency that will be produced is 20Hz which is the difference between these two frequency currents. This current will originate in the affected tissue where the two currents meet. It does not produce any harmful symptoms, or irritation on the skin and is quite beneficial for Chronic pain, traumatic pain injuries, and post-surgery rehab plans. It is great to encourage to contraction of muscles and reduce edema while also simultaneously promoting recovery.

How IFT Works in Physiotherapy?

Now that we know the mechanism and the principle behind it, it helps to know the actual process when you decide to opt for physiotherapy for knee pain. The process is outlined below- 

  • First, Inferential therapy works by emitting tiny amounts of stimulation to the affected tissues. This helps the body’s natural pain response by increasing blood circulation and stimulating hormones for faster healing. 
  • Then, intermittent stimulations are delivered to reach the surface nerves that help stop the pain signal by providing consistent pulsations to the affected tissue. This helps decrease pain, swelling, and edema. 
  • Different frequencies of stimulations are meant for different areas. 100 Hz frequencies are generally aimed for a-beta fibers which are great for reducing pain impulses in the short term. It also helps reduce swelling by promoting blood flow by removing the chemicals that cause the pain. 
  • Reduction of edema is important and the IFT machine greatly helps in that. By using a 100 Hz frequency it promotes vasodilation and lymphatic returns that highly reduce painful sensations of edema.

Also Read: 10 Do’s and Don’t of Knee Pain

IFT Physiotherapy Uses

An essential part of physiotherapy for knee pain, the IFT machine comes in handy for a wide variety of knee pain disorders. Some of the many conditions that it treats are- 

  • Causalgia
  • Neuralgia 
  • Osteoarthritis of the knee 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Edema reduction 
  • Muscle injuries and tears 
  • Injuries due to traumatic accidents and falls 
  • Ligamentous injuries
  • Herniated disks
  • Bulging disks 
  • Spinal Stenosis 
  • Range of motion limitations 
  • Incontinence 
  • Stimulation of muscles for pain relief

Benefits of IFT Physiotherapy Machine

When it comes to physiotherapy for knee pain, there are some important benefits with the IFT machine. However, it is not just limited to that. There is a wide area of focus when it comes to treatment using the IFT physiotherapy machine like- 

  • It is an effective tool to promote blood circulation, especially in areas that need healing after a traumatic injury or accident. 
  • It is a great pain management technique that helps with short-term pain management and also works on reducing your inflammation. 
  • It promotes vasodilation which is great for injuries, pre-existing health conditions and more. 
  • An IFT machine is useful for alleviating the painful symptoms of edema and hematoma which are serious complications of injuries and disorders. 
  • It works as a detoxifier and removes waste from the affected area to promote faster healing and recovery. 
  • It promotes recovery by increasing the muscle stimulation of the area. 
  • It also increases the metabolic rate.
  • By promoting pain-relief and healing, this machine also acts a relaxation tool to help with decreasing blood pressure and stressful symptoms. 
  • If you have chronic paion or ligamentous lesions, this is a great machine to help you when you have painful flare-ups. 
  • It helps to increase your range of motion, promotes mobility and flexibility of your joints, which are affected by diseases like arthritis and RA. 
  • Helps strengthen your muscles by promoting muscle healing

IFT Machine Disadvantges

Although the IFT machine comes with many useful benefits, it is not safe to use with everyone. If you have any of the following conditions, it is advised that you avoid the use of the IFT physiotherapy machine- 

  • Any kind of disease concerning the arteries 
  • If you have any condition that has a risk of developing an infection 
  • Deep vein thrombosis 
  • Pregnancy 
  • If you are at risk for hemorrhage 
  • If you have suspected malignant tissues in the affected area 
  • If you currently have a pacemaker 
  • If you have large open wounds that have not been treated 
  • If you have a serious dermatological condition

Also Read: Patellar Fracture: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis Treatment

For more information about IFT machines and physiotherapy for knee pain, head on to Phyt Health, India’s first digital physiotherapy platform offering online physiotherapy services and consultations. With a wealth of knee exercises present on their website, you can include them in your daily life depending on your comfort level. All these exercises are curated by expert physiotherapists at Phyt Health. You can also book your online video consultation on the app, to discuss any issues you might be facing and begin your journey towards recovery!