For many who are not familiar with Electrical Stimulation Therapy, it is a treatment that involves placing adhesive pads with electrodes on strategic locations on a patient’s skin in order to direct a controlled electric current throughout the body. It is known to provide temporary pain relief especially for muscular conditions.
The shocks coming from the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TENS unit (the gadget that delivers the electric current) are very minimal and do not hurt, so there is no reason to be scared (the vibration from popular exercise gadgets are actually loads worse); they merely create contractions in the target muscle or group of muscles. The contractions created can aid blood circulation in the target areas and also develop strength and promote healing. In addition to those, these contractions are likewise known to block pain signals from reaching the brain, which is why EST is often recommended as part of a treatment program for pain sufferers.
Listed below are some of the conditions for which Electrical Stimulation Therapy is highly recommended as part of a treatment program — not as a cure, but to manage some of the effects of the condition.
- Chronic pains – These include fibromyalgia, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. As mentioned earlier, the TENS unit can block pain signals from reaching the brain, so while a person suffering from any of the conditions included is attached to a TENS unit, the pains cease and relief can be experienced.
- Post-surgery injury pains – The goal is to provide temporary relief and promote faster healing around the injured body part. Most athletes nowadays who have undergone surgery for fractures, ACL, and other conditions typically undergo EST for pain management.
- Bell’s Palsy – This is paralysis of the facial nerve, causing muscular weakness in one side of the face, which is known to also alter the symmetry of facial features. This is usually caused by a weakened autoimmune system. EST can help outwork the effects of this condition along with a collection of other treatments.
- Stroke – It often leads to temporary paralysis which is treated through a rehabilitative program. EST is a component that can help prevent muscle atrophy through aided blood circulation, and restore strength and mobility.
- Vitalstim – This is known as difficulty in swallowing that can be aided by EST. This difficulty in swallowing can spawn other health woes such as pneumonia, choking, and dehydration, but with Electrical Stimulation Therapy as part of the treatment, the problem is eased significantly.