Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation (E-Stim) may be used clinically for multiple reasons. Those reasons may be for analgesia or for the production of a muscle contraction.

Electrons are negatively charged particles with a very small mass. When these electrons move, it is termed electrical current. These electrons travel from a high potential to a low potential. E-Stim uses this technology to excite nervous or muscle tissues.

E-Stim units have the capability or producing multiple types of currents. Interferential (IFC) is the commonly used mode for analgesia as mentioned earlier; whereas Russian, is used for muscle reeducation. Russian can help patients with neurological deficits by conducting an action potential. This action potential is a nervous signal that activates a muscle contraction. This signal is produced by the instrument and transmitted through the electrodes directly on the desired muscle.

Electrodes are placed on or around the patient’s painful location site. The addition of heat or ice to electrical stimulation can be used to improve outcomes.

Indications for use:

  1. Muscle reeducation
  2. Pain relief
  3. Muscle pump contractions
  4. Retardation of atrophy
  5. Muscle strengthening
  6. Increasing range of motion
  7. Decreasing edema
  8. Tendon healing
  9. Ligament healing

Prentice, W. E. (2009). Therapeutic modalities: for sports medicine and athletic training (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Doucet, B. M., Lam, A., & Griffin, L. (2012). Neuromuscular electrical stimulation for skeletal muscle function. Yale J Biol Med85(2), 201-215.

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