Performed by your physical therapist for general pain relief and reduction of inflammation, often used before or after the core of physical therapy programs.
Electric Stimulation Therapy
Electric stimulation therapy is used to treat muscle spasms and muscle pain, symptoms that often occur after sustaining a spinal cord injury or stroke. This therapy attempts to mimic the electrical stimulation that makes muscles contract.
In electric stimulation therapy, electrodes are applied to the skin adjacent to the muscles that need therapy. These electrodes provide the electric impulse that cause the muscles to contract.
Conditions Treated by Electric Stimulation Therapy
- Back pain
TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) units are a common form of electric stimulation therapy that are usually used to treat chronic pain. In some cases, patients are provided portable TENS units which they can use at home.
Essentially, the TENS unit seeks to interrupt and interfere with the pain signals that are being sent to the brain by inserting its own electrical impulses. Electric stimulation therapy via a TENS unit is not painful, and has no significant risk associated with the treatment.
Ultrasound for Physical Therapy
Ultrasound is used in physical therapy as a method to improve blood circulation, thereby also loosening adjacent body tissue that the physical therapist wishes to treat. This is done by applying an ultrasound gel to both the head of the machine as well as the target body part. Then the machine’s head rubs the target body part in a circular fashion, creating sound waves that heat the area and cause improved blood flow.