Choosing the right physiotherapy equipment

Physiotherapy equipment includes any electro-medical device used for rehabilitation or pain relief of the musculoskeletal system.

View physiotherapy equipment

  • What is the main equipment used by physiotherapists?

    Physiotherapists use a variety of devices in their practice such as electric stimulators, cryotherapy units, laser therapy units and pressure therapy units. The following is a list of commonly used equipment:

    • Electric stimulators:electrotherapy devices send several types of electrical current (of varying frequency and amplitude) to the human body. They are commonly used for the treatment of pain and for sports conditioning and recovery (improvement of healthy muscle performance and rehabilitation of disturbed muscle functions), but also in urogynecology for treatment of incontinence and certain prolapses.
    • Ultrasound stimulators: ultrasound stimulators, also called ultrasound diathermy units, send ultrasound waves to treat pain and degenerative inflammatory processes in the joints or tendons.
    • Heat therapy units and cryotherapy units: heat therapy equipment uses hot and cold to act on pain, inflammation, edema, skin lesions and muscle tears. Cryotherapy machines on the other hand exclusively use cold treatment.
    • Tecar therapy units:tecar therapy consists of transmitting a high frequency current (oscillating between frequencies of 300 KHz to 1 MHz) and combining a capacitive and resistive mode. It can treat inflammation and edema by encouraging cellular regeneration and cicatrization. It is also used to treat joint pain.
    • Physical therapy lasers: physiotherapy lasers emit at specific wavelengths and strengths. They are used in cases of arthritic pathologies and sports trauma. There are low-level laser therapy devices (LLLT devices) and high power laser therapy devices (HPLT devices).
    • Magnetic therapy units:magnetic therapy units generate a flow of magnetic waves that regulate biological functions by penetrating the tissue. Recent models of these units often work with pulsed electromagnetic fields.
    • Pressure therapy units:pressure therapy units activate blood and lymphatic circulation by means of air-filled cells that inflate and deflate, thus exerting pressure on the targeted limbs. They can be used for lymphatic drainage, cellulite reduction, varicose vein prevention, water retention and muscle recovery.
    • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) units: shock wave therapy generators deliver radial shock waves that stimulate metabolic activity and increase blood flow. They are used in the treatment of tendinopathies, calcifications, osteoarthritis of the knee and pain in the shoulder, tibia, Achilles tendon and heel.

    Physiotherapy equipment can combine several of the devices listed above.

    Chattanooga physiotherapy equipment is available in several configurations: electrostimulation only, ultrasound only or a combination of both.

    Chattanooga physiotherapy equipment

  • Which electric stimulator should you choose?

    There are several criteria to take into account when choosing an electric stimulator, such as the type of current available, its portability or the autonomy of its battery. Here are the essential criteria to consider:

    • The type of electrical stimulation:
      • EMS (electronic muscle stimulation) physiotherapy: refers to the application of electrodes on a group of muscles. The electrical impulses sent by the EMS device help athletes gain muscle mass.
      • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) physiotherapy: this treatment is used for pain relief and involves a high frequency signal applied to the painful area. The TENS unit stimulates the nerves. It is used for osteoarthritis pain, joint and muscle pain, back pain, migraines, neuralgic pain and to soothe contractures caused by stress.
      • NMES (neuromuscular electrical stimulation) physiotherapy: this treatment is used for the stimulation of atrophied or damaged muscles.
      • Galvanic current: this technique consists of immersing the hands or feet in a water bath through which a galvanic current flows in order to fight hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating).
    • The number of independent channels: each pair of electrodes enabling the stimulation of a defined muscle group is considered a channel. The more channels an electric stimulator has, the more different electrostimulation programs it will allow to be carried out at the same time.
    • Power supply:
      • Battery operated: battery-operated electric stimulators are often limited to two channels. They are less expensive but you have to change the batteries regularly.
      • Battery or accumulator: devices that run on a rechargable battery or accumulator represent a more significant financial investment but allow more regular and intensive use.
      • Mains-powered or fast-charge battery: these electric stimulators are reserved for professional use.
    • Battery life: some battery-powered models can run for up to 20 hours.
    • Portability and weight: electric stimulators can be more or less bulky depending on the type of power supply and available features.

    Globus Italia electric stimulator

  • Which ultrasound stimulator should you choose?

    There are several criteria for choosing an ultrasound stimulator, also known as an ultrasound diathermy unit, such as the number of channels available, the size and the frequencies available. Here is a list of the main selection criteria:

    • The number of channels: this varies from model to model.
    • The size and ergonomics of the device: for regular use, it is preferable to choose a device with high power, but this will often mean it is bulkier.
    • Available frequencies: the device must be able to offer at least two frequencies, 1 MHz and 3 MHz, for professional use.
    • Power: it should be greater than 1.2 W/cm² for fatty tissue such as the thighs, and less than  1.2 W/cm² for low-fat tissue such as the fingers.
    • Number of transducers + diameter: the ultrasound transducer is the part of the device that is in contact with the skin. The number and size of the transducers allow for several applications and can vary. Their average diameter is about 50 mm, but some manufacturers offer 1 cm, 2 cm or 10 cm transducers as options.
    Gymna ultrasound stimulator

    Gymna ultrasound stimulator

  • Which pressure therapy device should you choose?

    There are several criteria to consider when choosing a pressure therapy unit, such as the potential applications, the target areas and the poption of setting certain pressure and time parameters.

    • Determine the applications:
      • Which parts of the body will it be used for? (i.e. leg pressure therapy unit, arm pressure therapy unit, full-body pressure therapy unit, etc.).
      • What types of therapy will it be used for? (i.e. lymphatic drainage, activation of venous circulation, prevention of varicose veins, activation of areas where cellulite is found, fighting against water retention, etc.).
      • Who will be using it? (individuals or professionals?)
    • Determine the adjustable parameters:
      • Available modes (continuous or sequential)
      • Maximum pressure intensity (in mmHg)
      • Inflation speed
      • Number of inflatable sections per sleeve
      • Rest time between each cycle
    UNIX leg pressure therapy device

    UNIX leg pressure therapy device

  • Why should you buy tecar therapy equipment?

    There are several reasons to consider purchasing a tecar therapy unit, such as accelerated healing, rapid pain relief and increased vascularity. Here are the main ones:

    • Improved healing


    • Rapid and lasting pain relief: tangible results can be observed after the first session. Sometimes it only takes twenty minutes of treatment for the painful symptom to subside or even disappear. Tecar therapy has a fast impact on inflammation.


    • Increased revascularization 


    • Many other possible applications:
      • Treating inflammatory phenomena and tendinopathies
      • Promoting the healing of muscular injuries
      • Treating contractures and sprains
      • Relieving pain (i.e. lower back pain, etc.)
      • Accelerating drainage (in the case of edema)
    Fisioline tecar therapy device

    Fisioline tecar therapy device

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