Electrical Stimulation (E-stim) is a type of modality commonly used in physical therapy in order to help with an injury and inflammation. Common conditions that this modality can be used on is low back pain, neck pain, tendonitis, bursitis, muscular re-education and even post-surgical pain. This modality can be used for various conditions, even wound care.
There are different types of electrical stimulation, the most common ones we use are:
- TENS – Transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation is basically used in order to manage chronic and acute pain. The electrode pads that are attached to the TENS are placed over painful areas in order to decrease the pain. The electricity that is transferred helps block the pain signals that travel from the body to the brain.
- NMES – Neuromuscular electrical stimulation is used to contract a single muscle or a group of muscles. It can improve overall muscular function, help with blood flow, and decrease muscle spasms. Appropriate placement of the pads can also be used to contract muscles for educational purposes.
There are contra-indications to using electrical stimulation and your physical therapist will make sure that it is safe to use the treatment based on your past medical history and current complaints.
During treatment, your physical therapist will explain the benefits and risk of electrical stimulation.