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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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Although they come in many shapes and sizes, essentially, an E-stim unit is an electrical device that sends currents through unbroken skin via small electrodes that target muscles. This device has a wide variety of uses within the medical field including muscle toning, muscle spasm relaxation, and pain prevention.  Within the field of physical therapy, E-stim is important for rehabilitative puposes and enhancement of the healing process.

E-Stim 1          E-stim 2          E-stim 3
E-stim units come in various shapes and sizes.

E-stim units induce muscle contractions that are stimulated by excitation (current) produced directly at the motor nerve. Current acts just like signals sent from the brain to cause muscle contraction.

canine E-stim
E-stim is important in medicine, physical therapy, sports medicine, even veterinary medicine.

E-stim is simple to operate. Electrodes are placed on the target muscle group area with conduction gel. The electrodes are then plugged into a power supply. The power supply emits current that in turn stimulates the muscle group.  This passive muscle stimulation is important in rehabilitational therapy, as it is a simple, easy way to build muscle.  This is important for re-education of muscles and for reintroduction of muscles after immobilization due to injury.

Sports E-stim
Re-education of muscle function is a common feature of E-stim in the field of physical therapy.