Benefits of Electrical Stimulation for Arthritic Pain
Arthritis is one of the most common chronic conditions that affect about 23% of all US adults—accounting for a population of 54 million! Furthermore, this condition also results in cumulative nationwide healthcare costs worth $140 billion. As per a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of every 4 arthritis patients complains of severe joint pain which greatly limits their work capability.
You’d be surprised to know that by 2040, the number of total arthritis patients in the US will skyrocket to 78 million! To prevent this from happening, we need to discover alternative treatment options—like electrical stimulation—that help individuals control their painful symptoms.
The lowdown on electrical stimulation
Electrical stimulation is a form of physical therapy that delivers electrical pulses to targeted muscle cells. The pulses mimic signals that naturally originate from the neurons. The intensity of these pulses is highly controlled and mostly mild. When pulses hit their targeted muscles, it contracts them. Contractions help improve blood flow to these muscles and repair any injuries. Electrical pulses also block pain receptors that are sent to the brain.
Electrical stimulation for arthritis
According to the Arthritis Foundation, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) helps relieve pain associated with arthritis. It does so by overriding pain signals and triggering of endorphins (natural painkillers) in the brain. With TENS, you can pick your desired frequency and choose the one that is comfortable for you. A survey was conducted which found out that 50% of individuals who underwent TENS experienced a reasonable reduction in arthritic pain.
The same study also suggests that electrical stimulation helps reverse arthritis damage by rebuilding joint cartilage. It also strengthens the bones and helps overcome inflammation. Since the technique completely blocks off pain signals, it provides long term pain relief, compared to OTC pills.
What to expect during the process?
Your physical therapist will always initiate the process by informing you about all the benefits and risks. The therapist will then ask you to expose the body area that is to be treated, the rest will be covered. Electrical pulses are delivered to the muscles with the help of devices called electrodes. These electrodes are connected to an electrical stimulation device via a wire. Slight discomfort or a tingling sensation is normal during the process. The process is non-invasive and only targets the designated area, with no harm or damage to healthy cells.
If you’re based in Shelbyville, there’s no better option than Shelby County Chiropractic by Dr. James Stapleton DC. Head over to their website to learn more about their chiropractic and electrical stimulation services.