Electrical Stimulation Therapies

Following an initial consultation with Dr. Ilana, it may be determined that electrical stimulation is an appropriate treatment for your pet as part of his/her custom treatment plan. Below we describe what it is and the many benefits of electrical stimulation therapy.

What is E-Stim?

E-Stim Therapy can be done with or without acupuncture needles. If indicated, acupuncture needles are inserted into acupuncture points and connected by small wires to a stimulator device that delivers a small frequency of electrical current to effect a mild tingling or muscle twitch. It does not cause full muscle contraction and is used to the level at which it is perceived by the patient but not painful.

If E-Stim is done without needles, it is called Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). TENS is a non-invasive, low-risk nerve stimulation intended to reduce musculoskeletal pain, both acute and chronic. An adequate intensity of stimulation is necessary to achieve pain relief with TENS using “a strong but comfortable sensation” and is suitable for frequent treatment. A few studies have shown objective evidence that TENS may modulate or suppress pain signals in the brain. An electrode pad and gel are placed against the skin over the region where pain and muscle tension is identified and these are connected to the stimulator to deliver electrical current to the underlying soft tissues.

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NEMS) is the elicitation of muscle contraction using electrical impulses. This treatment has the potential to serve as a strength training tool for rehabilitation and preventive tool for partially or totally immobilized patients. The impulses are generated by a device and delivered through electrodes on the skin in direct proximity to the muscles to be stimulated. The impulses mimic the action potential coming from the central nervous system, causing the muscles to contract. The electrodes are generally pads that adhere to the skin with gel. The use of NEMS has been cited by scientists as a complementary technique for physical rehabilitation and neuromuscular retraining and published research is available on the results obtained. In the United States, NEMS devices are regulated by the U.S Food and Drug Administration.

What are the Benefits of E-Stim Therapy?

Electrical Stimulation Acupuncture (E-Stim) is useful in treating any condition that is deficient and would benefit from tonification, it can also be used to block pain perception and to help spastic muscles to relax. It is particularly helpful for back or neck pain or paralysis. E-Stim Acupuncture, TENS, or NEMS can be used to treat the following conditions:

  • Bone/Nerve/Wound Healing
  • Acupuncture to tonify
  • General Musculoskeletal Pain Relief
  • Muscle Atrophy
  • Muscle Stimulation
  • Nerve Stimulation

Special Training is required for the safe and beneficial delivery of all Electrical Stimulation therapies.


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