Electrical Stimulation (you may hear your doctor refer to it as E-Stim or just Stim) is used to reduce pain, muscle spasm, and promote healing. Electrodes are placed on the body in various places to target specific muscle and nerve fibers.
E-Stim helps to stimulate specific nerves that sense motion instead of the nerves that sense pain. Those motion-sensing nerves are bigger nerve fibers and thus the signals travel to the brain faster than the thinner, slower pain-sensing fibers. The brain can only concentrate on one signal, and it chooses the one that gets there first – motion not pain!
Typically, E-Stim decreases pain and inflammation in the area of application. For example, we may put E-Stim on the lower back after the patient has done his/her exercises and been treated by the doctor. This, combined with cryotherapy (ice, cold packs or BioFreeze) is a great adjunct in the treatment to help patients feel better right away.