Applications of Physics in
Electrical Stimulation Therapy
What is ESTIM?
How does ESTIM work?
What are the uses of ESTIM?
Frequently Asked Questions
stimulation units use an electrical current to simulate the same
electrical impulses that are activated during normal exercise. By
passively activating the muscle, the body responds in much the same way
as during normal exercise. By placing a pair of electrodes on the
target muscle or muscle group, the unit can send electrical impulses
through the skin to underlying nerves, stimulating the contraction and
relaxation of the muscle in a rhythm similar to daily exercise.
Electrical Stimulation can be used for two primary functions; strength
training and muscle tone or pain control.
EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) unit is used for muscle training.
By simulating active exercise, muscles utilize glycogen, fat, and other
stored nutrients during contractions. Through continuous use of the
EMS, the tetanic muscle stimulation will result in muscle tone,
strength, and improve contour. This method would be most often
found in the field of sports medicine and rehabilitation.
TENS unit is used for pain management and control. This is the most
common practice found in physical therapy. The TENS unit provides pain
relief by sending small electrical impulses through electrodes placed
on the skin to underlying nerve fibers. TENS is believed to work by two
different mechanisms. First, electrical stimulation of the nerve fibers
can block a pain signal from being carried to the brain. If the signal
is blocked, pain is not perceived. Secondly, the body has its own
mechanism for suppressing pain. It does this by releasing natural
chemicals called endorphins in the brain which act as analgesics. TENS
may activate this mechanism. By effectively managing pain without
drugs, TENS allows many people with chronic pain conditions to resume