Electrical muscle stim or E-stim is a very commonly utilized tool within medical and sports performance facilities. Generally speaking, it’s two primary uses for this treatment are pain relief and muscle re-education. These two categories of treatment provide a large range of application for the following conditions:
E-stim works by sending an electrical current through the body via adhesive patches which are placed at specific points on the skin. This current travels through the patch and skin and to the muscle tissue below, causing a contraction in the muscle and/or reduction in pain.
There are a few methods behind how e-stim reduces pain. First, e-stim creates stimulation of various receptors in the skin and muscle that when activated have the ability to block other receptors that primarily sense pain. This is called The Gate Theory. Another theory is that the electrical stimulation causes the brain to release the body’s natural painkillers — endorphins and enkephalins — resulting in pain relief.
E-stim is one of the most versatile recovery tools that we have available. Along with pain modulation, it can be used for injury rehab, to relax tight muscles, retrain movement, and even in combination with dry needling to provide an even larger therapeutic effect. Other benefits from e-stim include: