Electrical stimulation is a type of physical therapy recommended for people suffering from inflammation, pain, and muscle spasms. It is non-invasive and helps patients recover and manage pain without taking medications. So, is it a good option to help you recover from your injuries?
In this article, we will explain how E-STIM works and what you can expect during this type of treatment. We will also discuss some of the benefits of electrical stimulation.
What Exactly Is E-STIM and How Does it Work?
E-STIM, or electrical stimulation, is a procedure that involves sending low-voltage electrical pulses throughout your body. It is done by applying electrodes on and around the target area.
For people suffering from muscle spasms, E-STIM sends signals to the affected area. These signals mimic the messages that normally come from your central nervous system.
These impulses cause your muscles to repeatedly contract and relax. After a few sessions, this rhythm will train your body to respond to the natural signals that tell your muscles how to behave.
When it comes to pain relief, the process is similar. However, the signals are sent through the electrical impulses on a different wavelength than your body is used to. These signals work to block the pain receptors from sending messages to your brain.
What Kind of Injuries Respond Well to Electrical Stimulation?
E-STIM is used to treat a variety of injuries and conditions. Most of these conditions are problematic because they cause significant pain and reduced mobility.
Some of these include:
- Lower back pain
- Chronic back pain
- Muscle weakness
- Poor motor control
- Joint pain
- Pain caused by trauma
Of course, there are other conditions that benefit from this sort of therapy. For example, many cancer patients find that E-STIM can help with their pain. The same thing is true for people with arthritis. It all comes down to the severity and location of your injuries.
Benefits of Electrical Stimulation
Electrical stimulation is used to treat more than just muscle spasms. Some of the important benefits of E-STIM include:
- Helps with nerve pain
- Improves blood flow
- Repair injured muscles
- Increased movement
- Reduced inflammation
Not everybody responds to electrical stimulation the same way. Your practitioners will discuss the benefits and side effects with you before they begin treatment.
Once you’ve had a couple of E-STIM sessions, you’ll have a much better idea of whether it’s helping. If not, your physical therapist or chiropractor can always try alternate treatments. However, if it does work, you can continue with the sessions until you reach maximum medical improvement.
Are There Any Negative Side Effects of E-STIM?
As with any other treatment, there are possible side effects. You’ll have to balance these side effects with the therapeutic benefits to decide if you want to try this treatment. Your physical therapist will also need to evaluate how you’re responding to the E-STIM procedures.
Some of the potential side effects of electrical stimulation include:
- Muscle tears
- Skin irritation
- Tissue burns
If you experience any of these side effects, make sure you let your practitioner know right away. Our Athens injury centers offer a wide range of treatment options. If E-Stim is not the answer, your physical therapist will try other procedures. The last thing we want to do is make you feel worse.
Certain People Should Avoid E-STIM Therapy
While E-STIM is a safe treatment alternative for many people, some people should not undergo this therapy.
E-STIM is incompatible with the following issues:
- Malignant tissue
- A moist wound
- Any mental impairment
- A front neck injury
- Issues with any reproductive issues
This is only a short list. You need to check with the practitioners at our Athens injury center to make sure this treatment is safe for you. You also want to make sure E-STIM will work for you.
What to Expect During Your First Appointment for Electrical Stimulation
Before you undergo E-STIM, your doctor needs to understand your medical history.
Once the doctor has reviewed your medical records, you’ll meet with one of our licensed practitioners, who will perform a physical assessment. They’ll also schedule you to undergo diagnostic testing. This may include:
- CT scan
- Physical examination
It will take a week or so for the results of these tests to come back. Once the practitioners at our Athens injury center have a chance to review them, they’ll have a better idea of whether E-STIM is a good fit for you.
What Is the Actual E-STIM Treatment Like?
Your first session of electrical stimulation will be quite simple and straightforward. One of the techs will explain the procedure to you in detail. They will then attach electrodes on and around the affected parts of your body.
Once the electrodes are in place, the procedure will start. At first, the unit will send very low-voltage electrical impulses to see how your body responds. The intensity will increase until a point where you will feel mild discomfort, but no actual pain.
Most patients report that they feel a tingling sensation during the procedure. If you feel any burning or extreme discomfort, let your practitioner know. The last thing they want to do is burn you or cause any undue pain.
You will likely have to undergo a few sessions of E-STIM. If you’re dealing with chronic pain, you may continue treatment for an open-ended period.
There are even TENS units you can take home with you so you can use the E-STIM whenever you’re experiencing muscle spasms or pain.
Call Our Athens Injury Center
If you’re tired of being in pain 24/7, you may want to give electrical stimulation a try. Many of the patients at our Athens injury center have experienced significant improvement with this treatment. Once you have a chance to meet with one of our practitioners, they’ll have a better idea of which type of E-STIM is best for you.
If you think this treatment may help you, call our office at 855-475-2588.