What is Electric Muscle Stimulation?
Abbreviated EMS/IF, this treatment involves the placing sticky electrodes (2-4) to the body of the patient near an area of concern, and applying a low electric current to the tissues. This treatment lasts 10-20 minutes depending on the desired result, and can be utilized for a variety of issues. EMS works excellent for pain modulation, in the fact that it blocks peripheral pain reception during its application. The body can only experience particular sensations at once, and the application of EMS overrides the pain sensation in turn for a “brush like” feeling between the electrodes.
What is Interferential Treatment?
Interferential is similar in its application, but it requires the use of 4 pads which send 2 paired signals that “interfere” with each other causing a numb like feeling in the area treated for a period of time. Some patients report that the feeling is only prominent during the active treatment period, while others state they experience relief for upwards of an hour post treatment. This particular treatment also causes localized tissues to relax and potentially facilitates a more responsive treatment when coupled with other chiropractic treatment options.
The Benefits of Electric Muscle Stimulation / Interferential
This style of treatment is excellent for deep nerve pain, experienced with spinal disc injuries. The electric signal from the interferential pads causes the body to “ignore” the constant firing of the nerve pain pattern, giving the patient some relief from the pain. It is typical for the patient to state that the relief lasted longer than an hour, from 20 minutes of treatment.
While this relief is not “long term” it gives Dr. Herrington enough time to further treat the area. This treatment is typically coupled with moist heat, and Flexion Distraction therapy, for the best improvement to a injured spinal disc.
Who Can Benefit from Electric Muscle Stimulation / Interferential
This treatment is best utilized for vertebral (spinal) disc injuries, but is also commonly used for chronic sprains/strains of muscles very deep in the back. When these tissues become chronically injured, they typically “report” that they are damaged, long after they no longer are, giving very real pain signals, when the body isn’t actually injured.
Contraindications of Electric Muscle Stimulation / Interferential
EMS/IF cannot be utilized over areas with tumors, infection, or any kind of growing tissue (pregnant mothers). There is also a high contraindication for utilizing this type of treatment over vulnerable areas, such as the front of the neck, base of the skull, scalp, face, and groin.
Are you experiencing joint, neck, or back pain? Work with a Buffalo Chiropractor that can help you.
In our office, this treatment is typically used in conjunction with moist heat and flexion distraction therapy, but these therapies are not required to be utilized together.
For more information about whether or not electric muscle stimulation / interferential is right for you, contact us today to schedule your consult.