Monday, December 8, 2008

Electrical Stimulation for Running Injuries

I recently purchased this Digital Therapy Machine after a free demo. at the Seattle Marathon Runner's Expo. Let me tell you- this thing is powerful!

Electrical stimulation has been used for healing different types of injury including fractures, and injury to the neck and back area. Trigger points and muscle spasm are also commonly treated with electrical stimulation. There is some evidence that tendon injuries may also respond favorably.

Stimulation with electricity causes muscles to contract, so logically it should help prevent atrophy if a limb needs to be immobilized. In theory, it should also increase circulation to soft tissue injuries. Trans cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) units are commonly used for pain management

(External electrical stimulation also appears to work on nerves that transmit pain signals. For his part, Rizzo has not found TENS effective for most soft-tissue injuries, though he has used it successfully to treat pain associated with fractures, surgery, and acute nerve injuries. For chronic knee, shoulder, ankle, or back pain, a deeper form of electrical stimulation—interferential current—can sometimes yield good results. Rizzo says he usually shows patients how to use the stimulator at his office, then prescribes units they can use at home as needed. "When you can give an athlete a sense of being in control of the pain," says Rizzo, "it hurts a lot less." ) -Physician and Sports Medicine

I have a chronic tight hamstring that I am starting to self-treat. The muscle is tight and weak, so I believe this may have some potential. I'm also working with a friend who suffers from chronic pain in the neck and shoulder area the result of an accident years ago. I'll keep you posted and I'll also keep digging for more information on favorable outcomes. I see no harm in trying this for an assortment of running related problems such as plantar fascitis, tendinitis, and knee pain.

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