Electric Stimulation Sounds Bad….For Something That Is So Helpful!

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Electric stimulation? Of course we have it. And we use it a lot!

I have people ask me all of the time what electric stim is and what it does. There are a lot of answers to this question since there are a lot of different types of electric stim. Here in our office, we have high volt, low volt, russian stim, and interferential stim. There are also various settings within each type of stim as well as the placing of the electrodes, frequency, etc…. so you can see where it can be complicated and very specific.

We use interferential stimulation almost exclusively so I will limit this blog to interferential specifically.

Interferential stimulation therapy (IFS) is medium-frequency alternating currents to affect injured joints and muscles. IFS is effective in reducing pain, inflammation, edema, and increasing blood circulation to help with tissue repair. We can place the pads on your back in as large or small of a treatment region as we would like. This includes difficult areas such as hips, shoulders, hands, knees, and ankles. IFS is very commonly used by chiropractors and physiotherapists to treat joint injury, post-surgical pain, pain from trauma, and general pain management. It’s most important contraindication: we cannot use interferential in an area that the patient has metal inside the body. Electric stim can cause the metal to heat up causing an internal “burn.” Also, your carotid artery has it’s own pulse-keeping device so it is advised to not have electrical current going through that area of the neck. We also avoid using IFS on pregnant women just to be conservatively safe. Everything else is fair game!

We here at Amarillo Pain & Accident Chiropractic have personally seen it’s positive effects. We are currently treating an elderly woman with excruciating knee pain. She was scheduled to have surgery by now but, due to IFS here in the office, she canceled her surgery and is doing so much better than when she first limped in to our office with little hope. Now, obviously that does not exclude her from ever having to have surgery on her knee but she doesn’t have to do it right now. That’s certainly a victory for her and myself.

So, if you or someone you know are feeling hopeless and IFS sounds like something you would like to try, give us a call! 355-3000.

Jeff S. Williams, D.C.
Amarillo Chiropractor