Electrical stimulation or more commonly referred to as E-Stim, is a popular treatment for both chronic and acute pain.
E-Stim is frequently used in the realm of athletics. This treatment modality allows athletes to return to the field more quickly and stay on the field longer. Athletes are commonly developing injuries, whether it is in practice or in the event itself. In order for athletes to perform at their best, it is crucial that they are pain free.
How it works. By stimulating muscles to contract over and over, it naturally draws more blood and nutrients to the area of the injury. With more resources, the body can heal more quickly. By forcing the muscle to contract over and over, it also helps strengthen the injured muscle.
In addition to helping the injury heal more quickly, it also helps diminish the pain associated with injury. E-Stim works as a pain gate. Painful stimuli are carried on small nerve fibers, they can be myelinated(insulated, similar to electrical wires) or unmyelinated and most importantly they travel SLOW. Non-painful stimuli are carried on large nerve fibers, they are myelinated and travel FAST. It basically becomes a race to the brain, because non-painful stimuli (the E-Stim current) travel on FAST fibers and they get to the brain more quickly. Painful and non-painful stimuli compete for the same receptor, so if the non-painful stimuli gets there first, it essentially blocks the pain. That is why it is often referred to as the “pain-gate”.
What kind of problems does this help?
- Arthritis and joint pain
- Back pain
- Muscle re-education
- Muscle injury
The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.