Physical Therapist Questions Shoulder Injuries And Disorders

What is electrical stimulation for?

I have had rehab for shoulder pain. The therapist used electrical stimulation on it. What does that do?

5 Answers

There are two main uses for electrical stimulation. The more common usage is a TENS unit for decreasing pain. There should be no muscle activation of any kind during this treatment.

The second usage is to increase the activation of a muscle. The goal is to safely maximize the muscle contracting. Assuming there are no structural limitations, like a surgery, the goal is to increase the output to the maximal tolerance that you can comfortably handle. This is a unique experience to have something else (and potentially someone else if the therapist controls the output) control your muscles.
There are different kinds of electronic stimulation, but the one you use is to control your pain.
In your case, electric stimulation is a treatment used to help relieve pain.
Distracts your mind while you're on it. There is little therapeutic effect.
Electrical stimulation is use for many purposes that includes but not limited to reducing pain, inflammation, muscle strengthening, wound healing and swelling.