Electrotherapy is one of the disciplines within physiotherapy with the greatest potential. Technology has come to change and improve our lives and keeps advancing in the fields of rehabilitation and treatment of muscle injuries. So much so that, if you have studied this career track in recent years, you will surely have had to take at least one course on this subject.
Electrostimulation is used today for a large number of treatments with great success. In cases of chronic ailments, it improves the quality of life of patients, improving the recovery processes of injuries and allowing successful access to very localized areas where stimulation by other means is very difficult.
Why is Electrostimulation in Physiotherapy Effective?
To explain the effectiveness of electrotherapy within the field of physiotherapy it is useful to review the science behind the discipline. Through the action of the electrodes on the areas to be treated, an electrical impulse is emitted which reaches the muscle and makes it react as desired by the therapist. This energy is controlled through a device, allowing for the selection of both its intensity and its frequency.
By having a lot of control over how the different areas are intervened, as long as the physiotherapist has the appropriate training, patients of all types, ages and physical conditions can be helped. The treatments are completely personalized and muscle groups can be worked with great control, so its applications are very versatile.
How does Electrostimulation work in Physiotherapy?
Once the diagnosis is made, treatment can begin. It is always recommended that in the first session you explain to your patients what you are going to do and the benefits and sensations they are going to experience. Afterwards, you will have to put on the suit and place the electrodes on the areas to be treated.
The sensations will depend on the type of treatment to be performed, but can vary between a slight tingling sensation, a feeling of relaxation or the contraction of the muscle. In the latter case it can be somewhat annoying, but never painful. Part of the key to success in your work will depend on your ability to communicate with patients and knowing how to detect their signals and reactions at every level. There are two different systems:
- You will use the TENS system when your clients come to your clinic with chronic or acute pain. It’s name is an acronym for Transcutaneus Electrical Nervous Stimulation. This technique is based on the theory of gate control. Through the action of the electrodes, they will send to the brain a large number of signals with pleasant sensations that will “block” those that transmit pain. This is the case where, instead of pain, there is only a tingling sensation that increases progressively.
- The EMS system is very useful when you want to work on muscle response. It is used in sports training, but you can also take advantage of its properties to reduce spasms or rehabilitate patients with injuries or paralysis.
When should Electrostimulation be used in Physiotherapy?
No matter what discipline of physiotherapy you work in, you can take advantage of TENS and TENS in almost any pathology benefits of EMS and TENS in virtually any pathology. Both techniques allow different treatments, so they will help you achieve results in:
- Sports physiotherapy. You will be able to work with your clients to help them recover from their injuries and improve their performance over several sessions. It eliminates their contractures in a deep way, in a short time and with little effort.
- Rehabilitation of patients. You will offer treatments to relieve acute or chronic pain and improve their quality of life during the recovery process for interventions.
- Recovery from childbirth. You will increase the ability of the mothers’ bodies to readapt and help them after childbirth and help them to resolve possible sequelae, such as damage to the pelvic floor or the readjustment of internal organs.
- After-effects of strokes or Ictus. In this type of context, electrotherapy provides a wide range of possibilities. From neuromuscular stimulation to circulation stimulation and muscle mobility rehabilitation.
- Patients with chronic pain, whether they suffer from arthritis, tendonitis, migraines or headaches. Through the TENS system you will be able to offer them an improvement in their quality of life by reducing or completely eliminating moderate and acute, temporary or chronic pain.
In short, through the indistinct or combined action of both systems you can work with patients of all kinds to cure, alleviate, prevent or rehabilitate pathologies that have to do with both the motor and nervous system. With the right training, you will have a versatile and effective tool, capable of improving the results you would achieve on your own.
Wiemspro Electrotherapy Success Stories
More and more experts in rehabilitation and physiotherapy choose Wiemspro to improve the quality of life of their patients. That’s why we have accumulated a series of success stories in which the effectiveness of our products has been demonstrated. Two of the areas where we have found the most striking results have been in patients with multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.
Case of Electrostimulation and Multiple Sclerosis
This autoimmune and degenerative disease attacks the nervous system of patients causing neural impulses to be greatly reduced or to even disappear. As a result, sufferers gradually lose mobility and autonomy.
Juan is one of the first patients on whom we had the opportunity to test and demonstrate the effectiveness of electrotherapy. When we began his treatment, he had been suffering from symptoms for more than 10 years.
Our scientific department elaborated a personalized plan for him and in a few sessions he began to observe results. Some of the most prominent, and for which we have evidence, are:
- Improved posture. Thanks to the strengthening of the stabilizing muscles and the working with the joints, both mobile and stable, Juan was able to achieve a more upright position and regain an important part of his joint mobility.
- Improvement of autonomy. The deep muscle work had a major impact on the patient’s day-to-day life. By improving his muscular strength and endurance, he was more agile and could move from place to place with greater speed and autonomy. These results were seen at both intermediate and slightly longer distances.
- Improved body appearance. Electro-stimulation produced excellent results in improving his muscle tone. We also observed how, in the areas where atrophy was most visible, mass was visibly increased while lean volume increased and fat percentage decreased. In both the waist and hips, Juan reduced his size.
- Emotional improvement of the patient. When we discovered that, thanks to the treatment, she was able to cushion the effects of her illness, we observed a significant change in her attitude. In the sessions she demonstrated personal motivation and self-esteem at all times. As a result, interest and personal involvement in treatment also grew. He also told us how, thanks to stress reduction, he was able to sleep better.
Case of patients with Fibromyalgia
The company Green Gym Studio in Granada has been helping to improve the wellbeing of people suffering from fibromyalgia for nearly a decade and they consider electrostimulation to play a very important role in their treatments. Although this condition is not life-threatening or dangerous, it seriously affects the daily lives of people who suffer from it.
Chronic pain in varying intensities affects their quality of life and sometimes hinders their mobility or prevents them from maintaining a normal level of activity or movement. Through electrotherapy, our team has proven how muscle activity improves with the use of EMS. On the other hand, TENS sessions can help to relieve pain and generate a sense of well-being.
When not to use Electrostimulation in Physiotherapy
Although, as we have seen, EMS and TENS offer adaptable solutions for any patient for many types of pathologies, there are some circumstances in which it is not advisable to use it. Under no circumstances will you be able to do it:
- In patients with pacemakers or epilepsy.
- In people with altered tissue sensitivity.
- When there are circulatory diseases, coagulation problems or bleeding tendency.
- On wet or open wounds and injuries.
- With adults or children with metabolic disorders such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism or obesity.
- When uric acid levels are high.
In addition to these contraindications for certain people, it is important that you make a responsible use of this technology and in no case sell it as a substitute for physical exercise or as a method of weight loss. Although these are some of the side effects, it is not advisable to use these devices as a replacement for a healthy lifestyle.
What are you waiting for to try electrotherapy in your physiotherapy clinic?
By making proper use of Wiemspro you will significantly improve the quality of life of your patients. For more information or to keep up to date with our news, contact us and subscribe to our blog. We’ll keep you posted!