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Applications of Physics in
Physical Therapy

Electrical Stimulation Therapy

What is ESTIM?

How does ESTIM work?

What are the uses of ESTIM?

Frequently Asked Questions


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E-STIM has many uses in the field of physical therapy and sports medicine.  Most (but certainly not all) include:
     muscle toning
     relaxing spasms
     increasing range of motion
     reducing/preventing atrophy
     relieving pain
     relieving stress
     increasing circulation to speed healing process

For each of the various uses, the e-stim unit is configured to various settings, and electrodes are placed to attend to the appropriate areas.  As a general rule, doctors follow this, or a similar chart to choose treatment methods based on the symptoms.

ESTIM types and procedures
The wave forms, frequency, amplitude, and interruption (along with duration, modulations and time of treatment) have multiple settings, which are combined, not only according to patient symptoms, but also to patient comfort.

The following definitions are provided to better understand the chart:  (

:  decrease in size or wasting away of a body part or tissue
opiates:  a family of chemicals the brain produces that serve as pain-killers, and also help to reduce anxiety and fear
nocireceptors:  a sensory receptor that responds to pain
edema:  an excessive accumulation of serous fluid in tissue spaces or a body cavity
tetanic:  marked by sustained muscular contractions