Electrical Stimulation - Estim
What is it and What are its Benefits
Electrical stimulation aka E-Stim is a type of therapy or therapeutic treatment used to stimulate muscles in the body to contract. It is also used to stimulate different electrical signals in the body if the body is receiving confused signals. Electrodes are normally placed on top of the skin in the area of a muscle that requires treatment. Electrical current is then used and sent through the electro pads. Electrical Stimulation therapy is a widely used modality in physical therapy. In fact, many people are able to do this type of therapy in their own home by purchasing a therapy machine or device.
This type of therapy helps individuals in many different ways. Some are able to recover from injuries by building strength and reducing muscle atrophy. It is also often used in this way to help stroke victims recover. Others have found benefits in reducing their edema and helping them deal with acute or chronic pain. There are many different types of electrical stimulation machines and their benefits often may vary.
Electrical Stimulation Machines
TENS Units or Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is mostly used for pain relief. Many individuals have a TENS Unit or E-Stim they use as part of their pain management treatment and it works well for many pain conditions that are related to the nerve. When using a TENS unit, the electrodes are usually place on the surface of the skin along the nerve strands. It is said the using a TENS unit in this manner helps prevent the pain signal from reaching the brain. Similar to the gate theory, our body initiates signals triggering the pain and opens a gate, the TENS Unit produces another form of electrical signal to close the gate. This process of interrupting the ongoing pain signals is what makes a TENS unit so effective.
NEMS Units or Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation is used to mainly help your muscles contract after an injury or surgery. The electrodes are applied to a single muscle group and their signals duplicate the electrical signals the body normally produces instructing the muscle to contract helping the muscle to perform better. Our muscles contract all the time. That is how our body performs its many tasks. This type of stimulation is two-fold in that it also helps to promote circulation to the area that needs it to heal.
High Voltage E-Stim
High voltage E-Stim is typically used to reduce pain and promote circulation. Some individuals believe that high voltage current is able to go deeper into the tissue.
Electrical Stimulation Benefits
Electrical stimulation therapy and machines have been used for many individuals suffering with the following:
- Chronic Pain
- Low Back Pain
- Pain after Surgery
- Muscle Weakness or an Inability to Properly Control a Muscle
If you have not tried this type of therapy, you may want to do so if you feel it may benefit you. The SOQI Electro Reflex Energizer offers a type of therapy that is uses electrical impulses to stimulate the accupressure points on the bottom of your feet or hands. It provides benefits similar to reflexology and a NMES or TENS Units. Many people dealing with sore muscles, plantar fascitis, leg cramps, overall pain, neuropathy, tight muscles in the lower back or carpal tunnel have found benefit from its use.
Written by Mara Gerke, CA, CNHP