Laser, TENS, and IFC
IFC or interferential current is typically used to decrease pain in specific areas. IFC will not heal the injury and tends only to be useful in acute pain, however it is helpful to reduce pain enough that the individual can increase their mobility.
TENS or transcutaneous electrical stimulation, is used for similar goals as IFC, however it uses a different frequency and can be slightly more uncomfortable.
It is believed that TENS acts more as a pain reliever whereas IFC reduces inflammation. A study completed in 2015 found little difference between IFC and TENS in relieving pain in a two week period in low back pain patients, which seems to support the use of either modality.
Therapeutic Ultrasound is thought to increase the rate of healing by heating deeper tissues and/or causing cavitations of the injured structures.
Ultrasound, IFC and TENS are simply physical modalities, most often used during the acute phase of injury. They are used complimentary to other therapies and not used as stand alone treatments. TENS and IFC devices have become smaller and more portable in recent years, and can be held in your hand. This advancement has allowed many people to use these devices at home.