Electro stimulus means stimulation using low-voltage electric currents. It is a strategy that involves the flooding of the nervous system to relieve pain. Despite the minimal research about it, many healthcare providers around the world use it. One of the reasons is because the technique has low risks. It can improve acute and chronic pains without adverse side effects. Moreover, it comes in the form of a small device that people can bring anywhere and anytime.
Traditionally, they use medications to alleviate pain. This treatment is effective, but there may be harmful sides to it when used regularly. For instance, the constant intake of painkillers may damage the liver. Aside from that, they may experience nausea and high blood pressure after taking the medicine. Hence, it is good to have a substitute like electrotherapy. The following sections will present how it works, how to operate the device, and how it is beneficial.
How Does Electro Stimulus Work?
Electro stimulus, also known as e-stim, works by using a special device that can transmit electrical impulses to the body. It uses electrode pads with adhesives to stick to the skin. Once the pads are placed, it stimulates the muscles or the nerves. Working on the muscles can strengthen them while targeting the nerves can bring pain relief. In addition, it can help with blood circulation.
Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS) is one of the two main types of e-stim. It focuses on the muscles. The machine stimulates them for more strength. Hence, some people integrate it with their workout routines. The currents are slightly stronger than TENS to contract the muscles. In relation to that, people should not use it to treat pain as it may cause injuries instead.
The other type is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). TENS therapy effectively manages pain in two ways. Firstly, it is through motor-level stimulation when the frequency is low. It triggers the production of endorphins. Secondly, it is through sensory-level stimulation when the frequency is high. People feel less pain because it blocks the pain signals from reaching the brain.
Aside from the two main types, there are other e-stim treatments. They are as follows:
- Electronic Stimulation for Tissue Repair (ESTR) – The technique reduces swelling and increases blood circulation, which lessens the pain.
- Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) – It sends electrical impulses to the nerves that then make the muscles contract. It improves muscle strength.
- Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) – This one uses currents to artificially move body parts that are paralyzed.
- Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) – It is an implantable device that sends signals to the spinal cord.
- Interferential Current (IFC) – Commonly used in orthopedics as therapy.
How to Operate a Device for Electro Stimulus?
Operating an electro stimulus device is easy. Specifically, TENS machines are user-friendly. People can use both handheld and wireless devices without worry. For the handheld units, they would first connect the wires to the machine and the pads, attaching them to the skin. On the other hand, they can immediately place the wireless TENS onto the body and then turn it on manually.
Since electrotherapy uses electrical currents, they can adjust its duration, intensity, and frequency. They can do it using the buttons on the machine or through their mobile phones for wireless units. It is recommended to start with low frequencies until they are comfortable turning it higher. Moreover, they can try different patterns of placement to see which works best.
Pad placement is a crucial aspect of the therapy. They can use more pads for larger areas like the back. However, they should avoid parts like the eyes, spine, and front of the neck as there may be injuries. Also, they should avoid joints like the knees and elbows because body movements may affect the adhesion of the pads.
Who Can Use It?
Stimulation machines are generally safe. Hence, people of all ages can use them. However, individuals should be cautious when using it. It would be best to speak to a doctor before using one. Certain groups of people may be more vulnerable than others, like women going through pregnancy and those with epilepsy.
Furthermore, people with medical conditions can depend on them. Those who have chronic conditions like sciatica and fibromyalgia can use it to prevent pain. Additionally, people who want to use it for different purposes, such as muscle strengthening, can also utilize it. However, they must remember that each e-stim is not the same.
How is Electro Stimulus Beneficial?
Electro stimulus has several benefits for the body. Firstly, it can reduce pain with little to no risks. The main types of e-stim are safe for everyone to use. Many doctors and therapists use them for their patients. Moreover, the process is non-invasive yet effective. Thus, many people continue to use it and want to try it.
Secondly, it is a good tool for everyday use. They can bring the device to their workplace or schools as they are typically small. Also, units like the iTENS from iTENS Australia are suitable for daily use because they are discreet. Nobody will know that TENS is being used as they stay hidden under clothing.
Lastly, it can be multipurpose. Some units have both types of e-stim, which are TENS and EMS. iTENS is another good example of it since the units are 3-in-1. Aside from the main types, it can produce massaging sensations that can relax the user. It relieves pain, strengthens muscles, and lessens stress and anxiety.
Are There Risks?
Despite its general safety, there are things to remember before and while using a stimulator machine. Some people might be allergic to electrodes, which can lead to skin irritation. Those with sensitive skin can opt for hypoallergenic pads to lessen the chances of redness and itchiness.
In addition, the electrical impulses might be a source of discomfort for others. The tingling sensation can be bothersome for them. However, it is important to note that the sensations they feel are normal. To avoid it, they can take breaks in between sessions until they feel more at ease with it.
There are many treatments on the market nowadays. Electro stimulus is one of them. It means that it stimulates the nerves and muscles using electrical components. The machine it comes with can have different purposes. For instance, EMS targets the muscles for growth and strengthening. On the other hand, TENS machines target the nerves to reduce pain. Either way, it is effective for many people, which is why the demand for personal units is growing.
It is an easy device to operate. Hence, even the elderly can use it without trouble. This is especially true for people who would opt for wireless devices like the iTENS from iTENS Australia. Their mobile application is understandable. This feature allows them to keep track of their therapy sessions in a relaxed state. As long as they buy FDA-cleared and trusted brands, it is certain that they can experience immediate pain relief, relaxation, and strengthening with it.