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Electroacupuncture for Muscle Pain

By Katie Duffy - Jul 11, 2017 10:36:00 AM

Did you know that supplementing regular acupuncture treatment with electricity can make the acupuncture needles even more effective at fighting both acute and chronic muscle pain?

What does Electroacupuncture do?

Electroacupuncture (or “e-stim,” short for “electric stimulation”)has developed over the past century to relieve pain, stimulate bone and muscle fiber regeneration, and to treat neurological conditions including post-stroke rehabilitation. In fact, in an Indiana University School of Medicine study published in March, 2017, researchers found evidence to suggest that electroacupuncture stimulates the hypothalamus (a part of the brain responsible for regulating the nervous system and involuntary functions such as heart rate and digestion) and prompts the release of stem cells, which promote tissue growth and repair. This makes it useful in treating anything from skin conditions, to fractures, to every day neck and back pain.

What is it like?

The process is simple. Your acupuncturist selects points appropriate for your particular presentation and inserts the needles. Then, she will place tiny electrodes on a few of the needles and activate a small electric current. Your acupuncturist should communicate with you about the tingling sensation produced by the current. The idea is for you to feel the current, but to adjust the levels such that you do not feel pain. The best results are obtained when the intensity is just below your pain tolerance threshold.

What is Electroacupuncture good for?

  • Sciatica
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  • Facial spasms
  • Multiple Sclerosis and other neuromuscular conditions  
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Back pain
  • Electroacupuncture is even used in cosmetic acupuncture to improve facial muscle tone.

Like all forms of medicine, electroacupuncture comes with some cautions and contraindications. Electroacupuncture is not appropriate for people who use a pacemaker, who have an underlying issue with heart conduction such as atrial fibrillation, or to be used over the abdomen or other points on the lower body for pregnant individuals.

How can I try it?

Do you have questions about electroacupuncture? Do you have chronic or recurrent muscle pain, spasms, or other issues for which electroacupuncture might help? Ask one of our team of knowledgeable licensed acupuncturists if electroacupuncture might be good for you, or try an Electroacupuncture session at City Acupuncture today.

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