What Is Muscle Stimulation Therapy?
At the Apex Centre, muscle stimulation therapy is used in conjunction with other disciplines to both reduce pain and retrain muscles. Electrical current is passed through the muscle to stimulate it or cause it to fire. In treating for pain, a comfortable electrical current passes through electrode pads placed on the surface of the skin surrounding the painful area, which ‘distracts’ your body from pain. Alternatively, muscle stimulation therapy may also be used to retrain muscles and keep them active, especially after injury.
How Does Electrical Stimulation Therapy Work?
Interferrential current (IFC) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) are both used at the Apex Centre. IFC and TENS both work based on the Gait-Control Theory which proposes that a mechanical stimulus can block the transmission of pain signals since the brain can only process one of these stimuli at a time. This pain blocking effect lasts beyond the time the device is on. Another theory is that muscle stimulation therapy promotes the release of natural endorphins and enkephalins, reulting in pain relief. Studies have measured statistically significant increases in these compounds following treatment.
The Apex Centre uses both tanscutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS) and interferrential current for muscle stimulation therapy. The difference between IFC and TENS is the frequency they use to deliver the electrical input. TENS uses a lower frequency (80-150 Hz) and IFC uses a higher frequency (4000-5000 Hz). The higher frequency of the IFC penetrates deeper so it works well on broader areas like the back or thighs. In addition, IFC promotes circulation whereas TENS promotes the release of natural endorphins and is often used for treatment of back pain.
Is It Effective?
Muscle stimulation therapy is a pain-free and well tolerated by almost everyone, although people with pacemakers, pregnant women, and people with certain types of skin conditions should avoid it. The treatments are cost-effective and the procedure can be a risk-free alternative to pain management, with lasting pain relief after treatment.
Although muscle stimulation therapy is effective, it does not address the underlying cause of the condition, and it is for this reason that this treatment is best used in conjunction with other disciplines to achieve effective and long-lasting treatment.
How Apex Can Help
If you think you might be a candidate, call us and book an appointment. We’ll assess your condition and prescribe a course of treatment that may include muscle stimulation therapy as well more traditional therapies such as: