Electrical stimulation therapy is a popular non-invasive and drug-free treatment that gives temporary pain relief to many people with different conditions. It is also known as TENS, and a lot of patients like to undergo electric stimulation during therapy to decrease their pain and improve function.
The process of electric stimulation involves adhesive pads being placed on the affected area, which serve as electrodes for current passage. A controlled current is then administered, and the electrode placement is done in such a way that the current goes over the painful site, and affects the muscles in that area. Once the current stimulates the muscles, it either produces muscle contraction or a comfortable sensation, depending on the condition to be treated. During electrical stimulation, the machine attempts to replicate the impulses of nerve conduction throughout the body and delivers current to the muscle that may have had a damaged nerve or has been denervated. The patient may take some time to get used to the sensation, but the overall process in not painful.
The contraction of muscles due to electric stimulation assists circulation in the muscle and promotes strength gain and healing. Contractions are adjusted depending on the condition and the desired response of the muscle. The more denervated the muscle is, the higher intensity is required to see a visible contraction.
Pain relief is another benefit of receiving electrical stimulation and is used by many patients to increase their functional activity during therapy. Both chronic and acute conditions can benefit from electrical stimulation due to its ability to block pain signals to the brain, allowing the patient to do more things like exercise while using the machine.
Electrical stimulation is not a long-term relief modality and cannot be a sole cure for any condition, but is done in conjunction with other physical therapy treatments.