The analgesic effect of interferential therapy on clinical and experimentally induced pain

Beatti, Abulkhair, Rayner, Anton, Souvlis, Tina and Chipchase, Lucy (2010) The analgesic effect of interferential therapy on clinical and experimentally induced pain. Physical Therapy Reviews, 15 4: 243-252. doi:10.1179/174328810X12647087218992

Author Beatti, Abulkhair
Rayner, Anton
Souvlis, Tina
Chipchase, Lucy
Title The analgesic effect of interferential therapy on clinical and experimentally induced pain
Journal name Physical Therapy Reviews   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1083-3196
Publication date 2010-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1179/174328810X12647087218992
Volume 15
Issue 4
Start page 243
End page 252
Total pages 10
Editor Chipchase, Lucy
Place of publication Leeds, W. Yorks., United Kingdom
Publisher Maney Publishing
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Interferential therapy (IFT) is one of the most popular modalities used by physiotherapists for the management and control of pain. Despite its widespread use, there remains debate surrounding its effectiveness.
Objectives: The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the published literature on the effectiveness of IFT in reducing pain.
Method: A literature search of Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (MEDLINE), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Excerpta Medica Database (EMBASE), and Physiotherapy Evidence Based (PEDro) was performed. This review adhered only to randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that investigated IFT in the presence of a control group. PEDro scale was used to assess the methodological quality of the included studies.
Results: Nine RCTs met the inclusion criteria of this review. One study evaluated the effect of IFT on clinical pain while remaining studies examined induced pain including thermal (cold and hot), ischemic, mechanical, and delayed onset of muscle soreness. No clear conclusion was withdrawn regarding the effectiveness of IFT on pain management due to the high variability in study design and deficiencies in methodological quality. The data were limited and contradicting and therefore, of equivocal support to the pain reduction effect of IFT.
Conclusion: There is inadequate evidence to support the effectiveness of IFT in pain management. Clearly, there is a need for RCTs with high methodological quality to establish IFT efficacy.
© W. S. Maney & Son Ltd 2010.
Keyword Interferential current
Systematic review
Modulated current
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Issue title Electrophysical Agents. Guest editorial by Chipchase, Lucy.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
Official 2011 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Fri, 11 Feb 2011, 14:50:58 EST by Kathleen Reinhardt on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences