What is electro-stimulation?
Electro-stimulation (ES) is a treatment like dry needling or acupuncture where fine needles are placed in the affected tissue and are connected via cables to a small electro-stimulation unit. It can be used to treat acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions including:
- Soft tissue: spasm, strains, cramping, trigger points, tightness
- Joint pathologies: sprains, arthritis, joint stiffness, disc pathologies
- Nerve damage: neuropathy and radiculopathy
How does it work?
Electro-Stimulation improves the circulation of natural analgesics (endorphins and opioids) to reduce pain. Blood circulation is also stimulated, promoting the delivery of nutrients to tissue, speeding up the healing processes.
Low frequency/high intensity Electro-Stimulation produces long term pain relief building up over several hours post treatment.
High frequency/low intensity Electro-Stimulation produces fast acting, short term pain relief by blocking nerve pathways and preventing pain messages from travelling to the brain.
In the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal conditions, long term benefits can be gained by producing visible twitching. In acute conditions or where nerve damage is present, stimulation is purely sensory (i.e. visible twitching is not necessary to produce change).
Patient responses depend on the frequency, intensity and mode of delivery. Patients may experience twitching, contractions, numbness, tingling and/or warmth in the local region. Patients may also experience a deep sense of relaxation. Pain is not expected as part of the experience.
Why choose electro-stimulation over regular dry needling ?
- Electro-Stimulation results are more rapid & longer lasting.
- Electro-Stimulation is readily controlled, standardized and objectively measured.
- Electro-Stimulation allows stronger, more continuous stimulation than Dry Needling or Acupuncture and produces less tissue damage.
Role of frequency
Frequency refers to the number of pulses delivered per second measured in Hertz (Hz). It is the most important of the three variables (frequency, intensity and mode of delivery) because the neuro-physiological responses are frequency dependent. Low frequency (10 Hz) stimulation targets motor fibers, while high frequency (80-100 Hz) stimulation targets sensory fibers.
How is electro-stimulation performed?
Electro-Stimulation is implemented as part of a Remedial Massage, Osteopathy or Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment, which may also include other forms of soft tissue and manual therapy. Fine needles are placed in the affected tissue and are connected via cables to a small electro-stimulation unit. The Electro-Stimulation treatment last about 10-15 minutes. You will be free to go about your usual activities post treatment.
Reasons to avoid electro-stimulation (contraindications)
- Pace Maker
- Heart Conditions
Is it safe?
The side effects are few when performed by a qualified therapist. You may experience some bruising or redness around the insertion point or some aching in the muscle like other Osteopathic technique responses. Your practitioner will discuss with you if they feel that Electro-Stimulation via Dry Needling will be of benefit to you.
It is important to understand:
- You are under no obligation to agree to Electro-Stimulation. It is your choice whether you wish to use this treatment
- There is no additional cost for this treatment.
- You can stop the procedure at any time.
- All Irish hygiene protocols are followed strictly. No needles are ever shared, and all needles used are new.