Many people are intimidated at the mention of electrical stimulation. However, there isn’t anything to worry about. Electrical stimulation is a safe and effective method of treatment that can provide pain relief and recovery for several conditions.
A standard electrical stimulation device utilizes self-adhesive electrodes placed around the target treatment area on the body. The electrodes are then connected via wire leads to the unit, through which electricity can pass and ultimately interact with sensory and/or motor nerves.
How does electrical stimulation work?
Electrical stimulation contains a variety of different modes to stimulate the nerves in different ways. These modes all consist of different currents, and the current you are prescribed will be dependent upon the nature of your condition and the severity of it.
Electrical stimulation has a variety of benefits, including:
- Reduce, eliminate, and/or control pain (both acute and chronic)
- Increase local circulation
- Decrease swelling
- Improve range of motion
- Reduce muscle spasm
- Provide biofeedback (aka improve body awareness)
- Improve motor coordination
- Provide neuromuscular re-education
Some of the most common conditions treated with electrical stimulation include:
- Acute sports-related or auto accident-related injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Muscle strains
- Ligament sprains
- Neurological conditions, such as a stroke
Is electrical stimulation painful?
To put it simply – no! In fact, the intensity of the electrical muscle stimulation or sensory nerve stimulation can be easily modified to the tolerance of each patient. Some patients report feeling a small sensation, such as a “tingly,” “prickly,” or “pins and needles” feeling. When used for muscle strengthening, electrical stimulation can sometimes become a bit uncomfortable, but it should never result in pain.