Chronic pain affects an estimated 20 – 30 million individuals worldwide. It severely limits your ability to enjoy life and makes it challenging to accomplish simple tasks and engage in activities you love doing. Until recently, the preferred treatments for chronic pain were positioning, massage, hot and cold treatments, and acupuncture, as well as over-the-counter pain relievers and topical creams.
What is Bioelectric Therapy?
Bioelectric therapy is a drug-free treatment option for people with acute or chronic pain. When you experience chronic pain or are injured, pain receptors in the body send a signal to the brain, which is then interpreted as pain.
The signals carried to the brain are electrical impulses, just like an electrical current. Bioelectric therapy relieves pain by interrupting the pain signals before they reach the brain. It also encourages the body to produce endorphins, which lessens pain. The ideology has been around for many years. An Italian scientist, Luigi Galvani, observed the effects of electrical stimulation on frogs’ legs during a lightning storm at an open market. He discovered that the muscles could be stimulated to move when touched by an electrode.
What Conditions Can Be Treated with Bioelectric Therapy?
Bioelectric Therapy can be used to treat conditions such as:
- Back pain
- Muscle pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy or RSD
Not everyone is a good candidate for bioelectric therapy. You cannot use it if you have a pacemaker (a small device implanted in the chest to control the heartbeat), if you are pregnant, have had blood clots, or have a bacterial infection. The types of electrotherapy that penetrate the skin have the potential to cause bruises, bleeding, or infections. A pregnant woman may harm her fetus if the electrode pads are applied to her abdomen. It can cause cardiac arrest if placed over pacemaker leads or the heart itself. Your doctor can assess your eligibility for this form of treatment.
The Bioelectric Therapy Process
Several tiny, flat rubber adhesive discs known as electrodes are placed on your skin at the designated treatment sites. The electrodes are connected to a computer, which is used to program the exact dosage needed for treatment. The electrodes are then exposed to high-frequency alternating electrical currents. You will be monitored to gauge your reactions. During the treatment, you can provide verbal feedback to the clinician.
Sessions are conducted over a period of 5 weeks with the noted results to determine if more treatments are needed.