What is Electrical Stimulation?

Electrical stimulation or neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) is a technique used to elicit a muscle contraction using electrical impulses. Electrodes, controlled by a unit, are placed on the skin over a predetermined area. Electrical current is then sent from the unit to the electrodes and delivered into the muscle causing a contraction.

Electrical Stimulation

Alphabet Soup.

Numerous forms of electrotherapy are used to serve many purposes ranging from decreasing pain and inflammation to improving function and strength.

  • NMES (Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation)
  • EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation)
  • FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation)
  • TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
  • ETS (EMG Triggered Stimulation)
  • RETS (Reciprocal EMG Triggered Stimulation)

Stimulate Recovery.

Electrical stimulation has been shown to be an effective therapeutic option for individuals suffering from pain and weakness. Below are some of the benefits clients may experience:

  • Decrease pain
  • Muscle re-education and Strengthening
  • Increase range of motion
  • Increase circulation
  • Decrease spasticity
  • Reduce edema
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Improve overall function

Not for Everyone.

Though electrical stimulation is safe to treat many conditions, contraindications do exist. Some of the common ones include:

  • Avoid stimulation over
    • Carotid sinus/anterior transcervical area
    • Heart transthoracic area
    • Abdominal, low back and pelvic area during pregnancy
    • Cancerous lesions
    • Superficial metal (e.g. staples, pins, external fixators)
  • Cardiac pacemaker or defibrillator
  • Clients prone to seizures
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