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Collection: Electrotherapy

Electrotherapy is the application of an electrical current through the skin (transdermally) using sticky pads that are attached near the problem area.  The target goal of electrotherapy is to relieve pain by sending a "competing current" against pain afferent signals; i.e. nerve signals from injury site to central nervous system where the signal is perceived as pain.  Electrical signal frequency, mode and intensity levels are manipulated to get the best results.  When successful, the electrical signal blocks much of the pain signals, and relief is achieved.

Electrotherapy can also cause skeletal muscle to depolarize and contract.  This action can help reduce muscle spasms/ abnormal muscle fiber firing.

Perhaps the most commonly known electrotherapy modality is TENS, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation.  The unit itself can be as small as the size of a deck of cards.   You connect two leads to the unit (although only one can do the job in most cases) and apply the pads around the painful area, or one pad for two, different areas of pain.  Then, you turn on the unit, adjust the settings, and you're done.  20-30 minutes/ session, 3x/day is a good treatment interval for TENS.

Microcurrent is the application of tiny, subsensory electrical current  (millionths of an ampere) through the skin.  By comparison, a TENS unit and most other electro-therapies produce milliamps, which are 1,000 times greater in intensity.

The tiny electrical currents are believed to have an effect on injured tissues, helping cells regenerate and recover faster by boosting their electrical activity.  It may also modulate pain signals in surrounding nerves, which are electrochemical in nature.

Microcurrent has been around since the 1980s; used primarily by physical therapists for pain management.  Since then, it has become more popular for esthetic purposes, as skin tightening was observed to be an additional effect of microcurrent.

Microcurrent devices have gone through many designs and today, microcurrent for pain can be packed into a tiny emitter that can last for months, since the current is so low.

The microcurrent devices offered are from OMI and consist of a Velcro wrap that you wear over the targeted area.  Since electricity needs a conductor it is necessary to spray water on the contacting surface of the wrap before putting it on.  You will not be able to feel the current since it is extremely low amperage, but it does travel through your skin and into the pain area, as the fluid nature of human tissue serves as a conductor.

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