What is electrotherapy? Electricity has been used to treat pain for over 100 years. Early proponents of electricity were labeled as charlatans, but recent scientific studies have proven that electricity can reduce both acute and chronic pain.
The exact mechanism of electrical stimulation?s beneficial effect remains controversial. Electrical stimulation may directly block transmission of pain signals along nerves. In addition, electrical stimulation has been shown to promote the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers produced by the body.
Several different electrical stimulation devices exist, each producing different frequencies, waveforms, and effects. Electrical modalities include:
- Transcultaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation TENS (the most commonly used)
- Interferential Current (IFC)
- Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS)
- Micro current