What does electrotherapy do? Think of it as a way of treating either minor or chronic pain without resorting to dangerous opioids.
Using electricity to treat pain is not new. Archeologists have uncovered stone carvings from the Egyptian Fifth Dynasty showing doctors using electric fish and stingrays to help those suffering from pain. Doctors first used a battery-powered TENS unit in the early 19th century. It's now a standard way to ease pain without using drugs or over-the-counter pain relievers.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation works by using a small device, also known as a TENS machine, to provide a low-voltage charge of electricity to areas of your body where you experience pain. It stimulates nerve fibers and modifies the pain signal, blocking it before it can reach your brain.
It also stimulates your body to release natural hormones that decrease the pain you feel. It’s a way to avoid taking pain medications along with the harmful side effects that often come with them, including opioid addictions.
In addition, applying electrical current to a painful area can improve blood circulation and strengthen your muscles. It can help those who have poor motor control and stimulate wounds to heal.
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Keep in mind that electrotherapy might not work for everyone. While it's not painful when done properly, it does produce a ticklish feeling that you might not like.
If you start to lose feeling because of electrotherapy, you should stop immediately. The same goes if you find it disrupts your ability to think clearly.
If you have a pacemaker, don’t use electrotherapy as it could interfere with it. Also, avoid this type of therapy when you’re pregnant or in areas where you have cancer. For some, however, it’s a safe way to manage temporary or even chronic pain.
So what does electrotherapy do, and how can it help you? You can use electrotherapy to ease pain in several ways. Here are some different types of electrotherapy.
In 2015, the University of Florida did a study and found that electrotherapy was effective in treating lower back pain. The study was done on older adults and found that if there was sufficient electrical stimulation, these people experienced less back pain and had increased ability to move.
The author of the study praised electrotherapy as an inexpensive and safe option to reduce lower back pain. This type of therapy is helpful if your pain is due to muscle injuries. Because it increases circulation, it can speed up the healing of these injuries.
Electrotherapy can also be used to help heal other back and neck injuries such as whiplash and even osteoporosis pain. Use this therapy in addition to stretches and back-strengthening exercises to ease chronic pain.
Menstrual cramps are a common and miserable experience for many women. It’s caused when uterine muscles contract to shed the lining that is built up during a monthly cycle. If your body produces too much of a lining, you can experience painful cramps.
Taking over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin over a long period of time can cause ulcers. Using an electrotherapy pain relief device, such as The Monarch, can ease menstrual pain. Wear it and turn the device on, and it eases the pain.
Inflammation and degeneration of the joints can cause a painful condition known as arthritis. With this condition, your joints become stiff and your muscles lose strength.
Electrotherapy has helped ease the pain of osteoarthritis. Not only does it decrease the pain but it can also increase your range of motion. This type of therapy can also help your body rebuild and repair joint cartilage. It has the potential to enable your body to heal naturally without having to resort to joint replacement surgeries.
The act of surgery itself not only damages soft tissue but can also cause pain to spread to other areas of your body. That pain can make it difficult to recover after surgery. Chronic post-surgery pain is also possible.
On average, at least 90 American die from an opioid overdose every day, and in 2014, 2 million Americans were abusing opioids. People often become addicted to these dangerous painkillers after having painful surgery. Electrotherapy can help ease post-surgery pain without having to rely on drugs.
What does electrotherapy do? It's a powerful addition to your natural remedies kit you should include along with other techniques, including homeopathy and herbal remedies. Essential oils are another way to ease minor pain and ease discomfort.