Electric stimulation therapy is a therapeutic device that applies electrical stimulation in the treatment of muscle spasms and pain. It can help prevent atrophy (i.e. muscle wasting), promote circulation and build strength. There are many types of units out on the market. The most common is a TENS, which only modulates (i.e. decreases) pain. It’s like giving your muscle a Tylenol. There is no anti-inflammatory affect. EMS is more like an Advil. It helps move inflammation out of the inflamed area. It uses very low frequencies to help move fluid and can safely be used all night. A specialized version of EMS is a H-Wave machine. This unique rehabilitative device focuses on addressing the root cause of symptoms and providing lasting, cumulative benefits; which patients can feel long after the device is taken off.


The function of the unit is completely dependent on what type of machine is used. For example, an Amazon unit which may run less than $100 will not treat the same way a $2,000 medical grade unit will. Some units move fluid while others rehab muscle. The list is extensive. Our office uses a unit called combination therapy in which both electrical muscle stimulation and ultrasound are combined in the same unit. The therapeutic affect is greater than the tradition pad version in which 4 separate sticky pads are placed around an injured area.