What is e-stim?

E-stim uses electrical pulses to mimic the action of signals coming from neurons (cells in your nervous system). These mild electrical currents target either muscles or nerves.

E-stim therapy for muscle recovery sends signals to targeted muscles to make them contract. (Flexing your biceps is a form of muscle contraction.) By causing repeated muscle contractions, blood flow improves, helping repair injured muscles.

Those muscles also improve their strength through repeated cycles of contraction and relaxation. E-stim can also “train” muscles to respond to the body’s natural signals to contract. This is an especially helpful benefit for stroke survivors who must essentially relearn basic motor functions.

The type of e-stim that focuses on pain relief sends signals on a different wavelength so they reach the nerves, rather than the muscles. Electrical stimulation can block pain receptors from being sent from nerves to the brain.

What does it treat?

E-stim may be appropriate for the following conditions:

  • back pain

  • cancer-related pain

  • dysphagia (trouble swallowing)

  • fibromyalgia

  • joint pain

  • arthritis

  • muscle conditioning (mostly for athletes, such as long-distance runners)

  • muscle injury from trauma or disease

  • nerve inflammation

  • poor muscle strength

  • urinary incontinence

  • spinal cord injury

  • stroke

  • surgery recovery