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PTA203 - Topic 1: Electrotherapy Basics
Terms in this set (15)
What are three different types of electrodes? What are the pros/cons or each?
● Self Adhering
- Doesn't need straps
- Provides excellent contour on skin
- Higher impedance than carbon electrodes
- Cross-contamination potential
● Carbon Rubber
▪ Lower impedance through skin than self-adhering but requires a strap and wet sponge/gel. Can wear out
● Metal Plate
▪ Needs a strap/poor contour.
● Michael Jackson Glove (Garment Electrode)
What can you do if your patient feels an itching or prickling sensation under the electrode?
1. Readjust the electrode. It could have moved or the pins could have come loose. No wrinkles or gaps.
2. Rewet the electrodes - increases conduction and adhesion
3. Replace electrodes if worn out
Should electrodes be placed directly over bony prominences? Why?
▪No. Dry bones stink at conducting electricity and its hard to adhere the pad to a pointy bone.
What are motor points?
▪ Skin over an area that contains many myoneural junctions
▪ Used to place electrodes when muscle twitch or tetany is desired
▪Eg. Acupuncture-like TENS, NMES
What are trigger points?
▪ Skin over areas that are hypersensitive to pressure and electricity; used to place electrodes when a SENSORY response is desired
▪Eg. conventional TENS
▪Trigger point palpation may elicit referred pain
▪Trigger points have decreased resistance to electricity
What are acupuncture points?
▪Points that are hypersensitive to Pressure and Electricity; used to place electrodes when a SENSORY response is desired
▪Mapped out in 12 paired and 2 unpaired meridians.
What is the relationship between current depth/denisty and the distance between electrodes?
▪When two electrodes are closer together, the current travels more superficial and it's pathway is more dense
▪When two electrodes are further apart, the current travels deeper and it's pathway is less dense.
What is the relationship between current depth/denisty and the electrode size?
The bigger the electrode the smaller the density.
What is Monopolar technique?
Two electrodes. One bigger one smaller.
▪Smaller one is
and should produce sensation. ▪Larger is
ive* and pt should feel no sensation.
What is Bipolar technique?
Two electrodes. Same size. Both Active.
▪ Pt should feel sensation under both electrodes.
What is Quadripolar technique?
Four electrodes. Two channels. Two electrodes per channel.
What is direct current? When is it most commonly used?
▪ DC is a continuous unidirectional flow of charged particles
▪ commonly used for iontophoresis and for stimulating contractions in denervated muscle
What is alternating current? When is it most commonly used?
▪ AC is a continuous bidirectional flow of charged particles
▪ can be used for pain control (e.g., interferential, premodulated) and for muscle contraction (e.g., Russian protocol)
What is pulsed current? When is it most commonly used?
▪ PC is an interrupted flow of charged particles where the current flows in a series of pulses separated by periods where no current flows
▪ The most commonly encountered monophasic pulsed current is high-volt pulsed current (HVPC)
What is Pulse Duration and Phase Duration?
is how long each pulse lasts (the time from the beginning of the first phase of a pulse to the end of the last phase of a pulse)
is the duration of one phase of the pulse.
2 phases = 1 pulse
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