What is electrical stimulation in physical therapy?

Manual Therapy Techniques

If you are unfamiliar with the electrical stimulation method used in physical therapy, it can seem a little frightening. However, there is nothing to fear. This safe and painless physical therapy method is used by placing adhesive patches on the skin, which is connected to wires. A machine will then send a mild electric current through the patches to the affected area of the body in order to interact with sensory or motion nerves and stimulate the inner electrical system. 

Electrical stimulation is a physical therapy modality used to release natural endorphins in the body, relieving pain, spasms, inflammation or weakness associated with conditions ranging from low back pain to a stroke. This physical therapy method is also used to retrain the muscles that are having issues with mobility. Through electrical stimulation, the muscle can then contract by sending electrical impulses straight into the muscle tissue. To learn about the different types of electrical stimulation in physical therapy, read on.

Types of electrical stimulation in physical therapy

There are a variety of electrical stimulation forms that a physical therapist may use depending on your specific condition. Each form of electrical stimulation has different uses and varies the frequency of waveforms to target different parts of the body. For example, electrical stimulation includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation — Also known as TENS therapy, this technique is used to relieve sore and aching muscles and chronic pain.
  • Russian electrical stimulation — This method uses high-frequency waveforms to strengthen muscles, improve endurance and promote healing.
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation — NMES improves muscle spasms, increases circulation, maintains range or motion and reeducates the neuromuscular system.

Visit Whatcom Physical Therapy for electrical stimulation

If you’re looking for electrical stimulation, look no further than Whatcom Physical Therapy. Our specialists will conduct a detailed medical history and physical examination to determine the best treatment method for your needs. Contact us today for more information on what electrical stimulation entails and how it can help you on your road to recovery. We look forward to helping set up your initial appointment so you can reclaim your life from your condition.