What is E-Stim and How Does It Work?

Physical therapy consists of a wide variety of diverse treatment techniques and methods aimed at improving movement and managing physical pain throughout the body. If your doctor has referred you to a physical therapist, they may have mentioned Electrical stimulation or E-Stim therapy. 

Electrical Stimulation therapy may come across as somewhat frightening however, it’s a reasonably simple and low-risk course of treatment which can considerably enhance functional mobility, while at the same time reduce physical pain and illness. In some cases, E-Stim can also be used to treat stubborn wounds and dysfunctional muscles.

Generally speaking, electrical stimulation is commonly used to treat: 

  • Low back pain
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Muscle weakness or poor motor control
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis

Furthermore, there are some conditions where you should never use electrical stimulation. These include: 

  • Altered tissue sensation 
  • Impaired mental status 
  • Presence of an implate electrical device (The e-stim could interfere with pacemakers or implanted pain stimulators.)
  • Over malignant tissue
  • Over wounds that are overly moist
  • Near the eyes, carotid sinus, anterior neck, or over reproductive organs

Always heed the counsel given by your physical therapist, discussed during your initial evaluation. Don’t hesitate to mention any condition that you may have, which can trigger a negative interaction with E-Stim.

A typical application of E-Stim therapy includes: 

  1. Exposure to the area of treatment. 
  2. Application of electrodes to the skin. These electrodes are connected to an E-stim machine via a wire. 
  3. A slight tingling sensation which is increased until it reaches a strong, but comfortable level. 
  4. Depending on the purpose of the treatment, you may be asked to relax or contract your muscles. 

If you feel uncomfortable or uneasy about E-Stim therapy, discuss alternative methods of treatment with your physical therapist. 

That said, knowing what E-Stim therapy is and how it can be used along the road to recovery is extremely beneficial. For more information, contact Tieperman Health & Wellness in Frisco, TX, for a professional opinion today.

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