11 Oct Does Electrotherapy Work?
Is Electrotherapy Effective at Relieving Pain?
Do you live in pain? You aren’t alone. According to the National Centers for Health Statistics, more than 100 million Americans live with chronic pain caused by a disease, disorder, or injury. Worse, nearly 40 percent of chronic pain sufferers are currently not seeing a physician for pain relief because they think there’s nothing more their doctor can do to help. That’s where electrotherapy comes in.
Electrotherapy, also known as bioelectrical stimulation, has been used to treat pain for over 100 years. Although early proponents and practitioners of electromedicine were not taken seriously, recent scientific studies and countless success stories from real people have proven that electrotherapy can and does reduce pain.
How does electrotherapy work? Basically, electrical stimulation blocks the transmission of pain signals along the nerves, which means you don’t feel pain because your brain doesn’t receive and process the pain signals. Electrical stimulation has also been shown to promote the release of endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers that interact with receptors in the brain and reduce the perception of pain.
Does electrotherapy work? The short answer is yes, but considering the differing opinions on the effectiveness of electrotherapy in some circles, you might appreciate a more compelling argument if you’re thinking about trying electrotherapy for pain relief.
Admittedly, there is still some debate in the medical community regarding the effectiveness of electrotherapy for pain relief. However, it’s interesting to note that some of the dissenting opinions regarding electrotherapy come from organizations that would suffer if the benefits of electromedicine were more well known to the general public. Fortunately, there are a number of studies that show how effective electrotherapy can be at providing real pain relief.
Here’s a quick rundown of some recent electrotherapy studies that validate the use of electrical stimulation therapy devices for relieving acute and chronic pain.
Electrotherapy for Nerve Pain
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine investigated the effects of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy on pain intensity and functional capacity in patients with either peripheral neuropathic pain or central neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain, also known as nerve pain, is a type of chronic pain that occurs when nerves become injured or damaged. Study participants reported significant pain reduction after four weeks of monitored TENS therapy, which led researchers to conclude TENS therapy can be used successfully as an alternative or supportive pain management treatment for nerve pain.1
Electrotherapy for Fibromyalgia
A 2013 study published in the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine tested the effectiveness of high-frequency TENS therapy in conjunction with aerobic and stretching exercises for the treatment of fibromyalgia, a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain and tenderness. Participants who underwent TENS therapy after static stretching had a greater pain reduction compared to the group that did not. Researchers concluded that high-frequency TENS therapy as an adjuvant treatment is effective in relieving pain, anxiety, fatigue, and stiffness in patients with fibromyalgia.2
Electrotherapy for Neck Pain
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine Research examined the effectiveness of TENS therapy as a treatment for neck pain due to musculoskeletal disorders. Subjects with neck pain underwent a single high-frequency TENS therapy session for one hour and completed a follow-up pain assessment one week later. The group that received TENS overwhelmingly reported noticeable improvement, leading researchers to conclude that TENS treatment is an effective treatment for neck pain due to musculoskeletal disorders.3
Electrotherapy for Lower Back Pain
A 2010 study published in the Polish orthopedics and rehabilitation medicine journal Ortopedia Traumatologia Rehabilitacja evaluated the impact of long-term TENS therapy on pain relief in patients with degenerative disc disease, a known cause of chronic lower back pain. Participants who underwent low-frequency pulsed TENS therapy three times a day for 20 minutes reported significant pain relief and improved spinal function and mobility.4
In addition to these and countless other studies on electrotherapy, there’s also an impressive number of testimonials and success stories from real people who have experienced real pain relief thanks to electrotherapy.
What Can Electrotherapy Treat?
Electrotherapy devices that are FDA-cleared, like the WellnessPro® Plus, are approved for the use in relieving pain for a wide range of acute and chronic conditions. Although university research centers and regulatory agencies are currently examining wider applications for electrotherapy, personal-use devices are currently available by prescription only for pain relief. However, because bioelectrical stimulation is effective at relieving such a wide range of pain symptoms, devices like the WellnessPro Plus may be an alternative or complementary pain management solution for people suffering from:
- Osteoarthritis/Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Bell’s Palsy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD)
- Sports Injuries
- Post-Surgical Pain
Bioelectrical stimulation does not work in all cases, nor is it recommended for all conditions. Consult with your doctor to learn more about electrotherapy and decide whether it’s appropriate for you.
Is Electrotherapy Effective? Try for Yourself and See
The best way to find out if electrotherapy works is to try it out for yourself. The #1 doctor-recommended, FDA-cleared WellnessPro Plus is available with a risk-free, 30-day money back guarantee. Talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for electrotherapy or contact us to learn more about the benefits of bioelectrical stimulation for pain relief.