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Do You Need True Pain Relief? Electrical Stimulation Could Help You Feel Great Again!

Have you been dealing with chronic pain due to an injury or illness? If this is the case, electrical stimulation may be a viable option for treating your pain. It is a safe and effective pain relief and rehabilitation therapy option that many professional physical therapists use every day.

The Pain-Free Truth About Electrical Stimulation

Although electrical stimulation can be unpleasant at times when used for muscle enhancement, it should never cause pain. Some individuals have said to have experienced a “tingly,” “prickly,” or “pins and needles” sensation during their therapy. A physical therapist can simply adjust the frequency of electrical muscle stimulation or sensory nerve stimulation according to the tolerance of each patient.

During treatment, you will be asked to sit or lie in a comfortable position. Before guiding you through the entire procedure, our physical therapist will clean and prepare your skin in the treatment area. Next, self-adhesive electrodes are put on the body around the targeted treatment region in a typical electrical stimulation session. The electrodes are then linked to a device through wire connections, allowing electricity to travel through and eventually communicate with sensory and/or motor neurons.

Among the different modes are transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), interruption, pre-modulated, Russian, and symmetrical or asymmetrical bi-phasic. Each of these modes has its own current, and the current you receive will be determined by the shape and strength of your condition.

How Can I Benefit From Electrical Stimulation Treatments?

Physical therapists frequently prescribe electrical stimulation as a pain management technique. It is also safe to use on all parts of the body, including the anterior neck, eyes, or areas with damaged skin or reduced sensation. By stimulating certain sensory nerve fibers (such as A-beta, A-delta, and C fibers), which lower pain sensitivity and release neurotransmitters that prolong pain relief, this modality can provide an intrinsic and completely natural analgesic effect.

Benefits include:

  • Increase circulation

  • Provide biofeedback (aka improve body awareness)

  • Reduce, eliminate, and/or control pain (both acute and chronic)

  • Prevent or reverse muscle atrophy (especially after prolonged immobilization, such as a limb being cast as a fracture heals)

  • Reduce muscle spasm

  • Improve motor coordination

  • Provide neuromuscular re-education

  • Decrease swelling

  • Improve range of motion

Common conditions treated:

  • Neurological conditions, such as a stroke

  • Ligament sprains

  • Repetitive stress injuries

  • Acute sports-related or auto accident-related injuries

  • Muscle strains

Electrical stimulation will likely not be recommended for people with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), those who are pregnant, those with pacemakers, and those with impaired comprehension.

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