Treating Urinary Stress Incontinency With Interferential Therapy In A Private Home Setting

  For many years urologists and physical therapists have used electrical stimulation techniques to eliminate stress incontinence.  A variety of electrodes, some internal,  some external have been used with varying degrees of success.  It appears the incidence of women being affected more than men may be due to the anatomy of the female created for child bearing which alters the control mechanisms to prevent incontinency.

  True stress incontinence is a situation where a patient cannot maintain normal passive


continence of the bladder when subjected to stress such as coughing and sneezing.  It appears due to the internal sphincter being very well identified in the male and not easily identified in the female. Due to the decreased importance of the internal urethral sphincter in the female much less importance should be placed upon stimulation.  Much more emphasis for females should be placed on the external ( distal) striated sphincter which is prominent in middle area of the urethra. 

   With males the sphincter is strong enough to exert a closure effect due to a muscular ring which does not exist with a female.  This is probably due to the fact the female's absence of the muscular ring is for reproductive purposes and not uro-dynamic.

    Fast twitch muscle fibers are very important to prevent sudden stress situations and prevent loss of control.  It is possible the experience of females during childbirth actually destroys or denigrates these muscle fibers resulting in stress incontinency later.

    Based upon the above simple explanation these are the goals of using interferential stimulation for the regaining of control to prevent stress incontinence.

  • Activate the external (distal) striated sphincter.
  • Activate the smooth muscle surrounding the urethra.
  • Activate periurethral muscles of the pelvic floor.

   Due to the physical ability of small diameter autonomic fibers to polarize and repolarize the suggested rate, frequency is 1- 10 Hz.  This is because the affected fibers lack the ability to repolarize in shorter time intervals, unlike faster large diameter fibers.

    The benefit of using the cross currents of interferential therapy is one of depth of penetration due to the increased frequency ( rate) of interferential at 8,000+ pulses per second.  With increased frequency comes deeper penetration. 

    This is a general pattern of how to treat and why with interferential therapy.  It is suggested the treatments be done with an at home device and less success if the patient has to come to an office or clinic for treatments.

     Much of this information was derived from the research work of Dr. Giovanni DeDomenico and was published in:

"New Dimensions In Interferential Therapy.  A Theoretical & Clinical Guide", in April, 1987     ISBN#0 959 3901 1 1

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