As a patient, you may have had Inferential Therapy (also known as Electrical Stimulation) before some of your adjustments. You may be thinking “What??” Let me explain a little better. Electrical Stimulation at Minnesota Chiropractic and Rehabilitation is usually done before a treatment at our office. This is when you are taken back to lay face down on a table and cool pads are put on your back. Then we turn on the machine, so that the pads feel like they are making your muscles twitch. Sound familiar? Today, you get to learn more about how exactly that machine works, and why it is an effective treatment!
Electric stimulation therapy is a therapeutic treatment that applies electrical stimulation in treating muscle spasms and pain. It can help prevent atrophy and build strength in patients with injuries. It is also helpful in keeping muscles active especially after any type spinal cord injury or strokes.
Electric stimulation works by mimicking the natural way by which the body exercises its muscles. The electrodes attached to the skin deliver impulses that make the muscles contract. It is beneficial in increasing the patient’s range of motion and improves the circulation of the body. It is used in treating conditions like sprains, arthritis, back pain scoliosis and sciatica.
TENS is commonly used to help with chronic pain. The general type of electric stimulation is used for healing wounds and alleviating pain. For the convenience of the patient, a portable TENS unit can be prescribed by the doctor or a physical therapist for the patient to use at home.
Interferential current (IFC) is another form of TENS. It is used by physical therapists and chiropractors for the purpose of decreasing inflammation and swelling of affected tissues. This treatment has also shown positive effects in improving symptoms of asthma and in reducing back pain.
Galvanic stimulation is also another application of electric stimulation. This involves applying pulsed electric current on affected body tissues in stimulating muscle contraction. It differs with TENS and IFC in its use of direct current rather than alternating current. The positive pad acts to decrease circulation of the target area and reduce swelling. The negative pad increases the distribution of oxygen, blood and nutrients to the injured area thus increasing the speed of the healing process.
Administration of electric stimulation should exclude patients with pacemakers or those who have certain kinds of skin disease. Pregnant women should also avoid this treatment.
In using electric stimulation, chiropractors seek to improve quality of life for patients when the traditional treatment plans are not working, or as a great addition to any treatment to get quicker results.