Electrotherapy Pain Treatment
For more than a century, people have been using electricity in various ways to treat pain. While once regarded as “quack” medicine, recent scientific studies have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that electricity can be used to safely and effectively manage both chronic and acute pain.
At HealthSource, we offer electrotherapy services in addition to traditional chiropractic care as part of our commitment to providing our patients with the most possible options for reducing and managing pain.
Though science has proven time and time again that various electrotherapies are effective in treating pain, there is still some controversy regarding exactly how it works. It is possible that electrical stimulation blocks pain signals along the nerves. However, it has also been proven that stimulation from electricity causes the body to release endorphins, which act as natural painkillers.
There are a few different types of electrotherapy for treating pain. Each works by applying electric stimulation to the muscles and nerves. This is done through adhesive pads on the skin. There are three main systems:
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, or TENS
- Galvanic Stimulation, or GS
- Interferential Current, or IFC
Of these, TENS is the most common form of electrotherapy used in pain management. Essentially, IFC units are more powerful versions of TENS units. TENS and IFC units deliver alternating current to the muscles and nerves. They are generally used to treat chronic pain.
GS units utilize direct current as opposed to alternating current, and they are typically used in treating acute injuries, especially those associated with major injuries involving bleeding or swelling. The direct current alters blood flow. The positive pad has a cooling effect which reduces swelling. The negative pad, on the other hand, has a heating effect that increases circulation and speeds the healing process.
If you are struggling to manage chronic or acute pain, electrotherapy pain management may be a good option. Don’t let pain get in the way of your daily life. Contact your Hillsboro Chiropractor at HealthSource today.