What Is Electrical Stimulation?
While it may sound a bit intimidating, Electrical Stimulation, otherwise known as ESTIM, really isn’t at all! When used correctly and provided under the guidance of a licensed and skilled Physical Therapist, Electrical Stimulation is a safe and efficacious modality that can be used to treat a variety of conditions.
While individual units and modes of delivery can vary, the standard electrical stimulation device utilizes self-adhesive electrodes placed around the target treatment area on the body. These electrodes are connected via wire leads to the unit, through which electricity can pass and ultimately interact with sensory and/or motor nerves (depending on the type of current utilized).
What Is ESTIM Used For In Physical Therapy?
Our clinic frequently utilizes Electrical Stimulation in order to provide a variety of beneficial healing effects, 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
- Prevent or reverse muscle atrophy (especially after prolonged immobilization, such as a limb being casted as a fracture heals)
While it’s not for everyone (including people with deep vein thrombosis, people who are pregnant, people with pacemakers, and people with impaired cognition) or safe to use on every body area (including on the anterior neck, eyes, or over areas with damaged skin or decreased sensation), ESTIM can be used for a wide variety of conditions as indicated, including auto accident-related injuries, repetitive stress injuries, muscle strains, ligament sprains, and even neurological conditions including stroke.
Does Electrical Muscle Stimulation Hurt?
The intensity of the Electrical Muscle Stimulation or sensory nerve stimulation is easily modifiable and ultimately will only be as much as you, the patient, can tolerate. Unlike other forms of Electrotherapy, the current Solaris ESTIM device used here at Med Center Therapy is so small that the nerves of the sensory system are not stimulated. As a result, there is no uncomfortable feeling of a shock. Solaris ESTIM Technologies also provides a comfortable experience for patients by alternating the stimulation of electrodes placed around multiple different parts of the affected area. This way, no one area receives too much or too little stimulation during a single ESTIM Treatment.
Expect Great Results!
Are you interested in trying Electrical Stimulation? Wondering if it can help your pain or dysfunction? Our Physical Therapy services, including Electrical Stimulation and other modalities, are evidenced-based, state-of-the-art, effective, and have minimal to no risk of side effects. Come experience the difference and Contact Us Today Med Center Therapy to schedule an evaluation.