Electrical Stimulation Could Finally Relieve Your Chronic Pain
Give your aches and pains the cold shoulder
Have you experienced an accident that has left you with a debilitating pain condition? If so, the solution could be electrical stimulation.
Electrical stimulation is a safe and efficient treatment procedure that may provide pain relief and recovery for you. While it can sound overwhelming, it is in reality a very effective way to relieve pain!
A typical electrical stimulation system uses self-adhesive electrodes that are mounted on the body around the target treatment area. The electrodes are then connected to the device through wire leads, through which electricity can pass through and eventually communicate with sensory and/or motor nerves.
To learn more, request an appointment with Full Circle Physical Therapy in Monterey today.
Benefits of using electrical stimulation
The ultimate goals at our Monterey physical therapy practice are your comfort, protection, and integrity.
At your initial appointment, in addition to being asked questions about your current condition and medical background, you will undergo a physical examination.
From there, an individualized care plan will be developed by one of our certified physical therapists, based on your personal needs.
If our physical therapist feels you will benefit from electrical stimulation, he or she will explain it in depth and it will be integrated into your care plan.
You will be asked to sit or lie in a comfortable position during an electrical stimulation procedure. The therapist will clean and prepare your skin in the target treatment area, and walk you through the whole treatment step-by-step.
Does electrical stimulation hurt?
Not at all! It is easy and simple to adjust the strength of electrical muscle stimulation or sensory nerve stimulation to each patient's tolerance.
Electrical stimulation includes a range of different ways of stimulating the nerves in various ways.
All of these modes consist of distinct currents, and the current you are prescribed will depend on the type and seriousness of your condition.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), interferential, pre-modulated, Russian and symmetrical or asymmetrical bi-phasic are among the various types of modes.
Some patients report experiencing a slight discomfort, such as a feeling of "tingly," "prickly," or "pins and needles."
Electrical stimulation can sometimes become a bit uncomfortable when used for muscle reinforcement, but it should never result in pain.
What should I expect during an electrical stimulation treatment session?
Electrical stimulation is often prescribed for pain.
This modality can trigger an innate and completely natural analgesic effect by stimulating specific sensory nerve fibers (including A-beta, A-delta, and C fibers), which both decrease the sensation of pain and release neurotransmitters that prolong the pain-relieving effects.
Electrical stimulation has a variety of other benefits, including:
- Provide biofeedback (aka improve body awareness)
- Improve range of motion
- Increase local circulation
- Decrease swelling
- Provide neuromuscular re-education
- Prevent or reverse muscle atrophy (especially after prolonged immobilization, such as a limb being cast as a fracture heals)
- Improve motor coordination
- Reduce muscle spasm
- Reduce, eliminate, and/or control pain (both acute and chronic)
It is also safe to use electrical stimulation on all parts of the body, including the anterior neck, eyes, or areas with damaged skin or reduced sensation.
Electrical stimulation is not the best option for everyone, however. 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.
Some of the most common conditions treated with electrical stimulation include:
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Ligament sprains
- Neurological conditions, such as a stroke
- Muscle strains
- Acute sports-related or auto accident-related injuries