Sport & Spine Rehab – Electrical Stimulation
Electrical Stimulation (you may hear your doctor refer to it as E-Stim or just Stim) is used to reduce pain, muscle spasm, and promote healing. Electrodes are placed on the body in various places to target specific muscle and nerve fibers. Essentially, the belief is that E-Stim helps to stimulate specific nerves that sense motion instead of the nerves that sense pain. Those motion-sensing nerves are bigger nerve fibers and thus the signals travel to the brain faster than the thinner, slower pain-sensing fibers. The brain can only concentrate on one signal, and it chooses the one that gets there first – motion not pain!
Normally, but not always, E-Stim is used to decrease pain and inflammation in the area to which it is applied. For example, we may put E-Stim on the lower back after the patient has done his/her exercises and been treated by the doctor. This, combined with cryotherapy (like cold packs) is a great adjunct in the treatment to help patients feel better right away. In a nutshell, this treatment enhances the effects of our other treatments.