Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation is one of the many treatment modalities used by our skilled experts


Physicians often recommend electrical stimulation therapy for patients, due to the benefits it provides. During the treatment, electrodes are attached onto a patient’s skin, targeting specific muscles or nerves.

In situations where muscle strength and tone would otherwise atrophy due to lack of use, a specific type of electrical stimulation called neuromuscular stimulation is ideal because it mimics exercise and the way muscles move during activity.

Patients who have suffered a stroke or spinal cord injury also greatly benefit from this type of electrical stimulationElectrical stimulation is also used for pain relief. This therapeutic treatment is used on patients with conditions such as sciatica, back or neck pain, scoliosis, arthritis, and sprains or strains.


Our physical therapists at Physiocare use various kinds of electrical stimulation. Each accomplishes a different task and therefore may be suitable for some conditions and not others. There are occasions when a patient may be helped by several types of electrical stimulation. The following are some of the treatments we use at Physiocare:

Iontophoresis is a type of electrical stimulation that helps to administer medication into the body through the skin, using electrical currents. Iontophoresis is helpful in the treatment of inflammation.

Transcutaneus electrical neuromuscular stimulation (TENS) is frequently used to manage chronic and acute pain in physical therapy and at home. Electrodes are applied over areas that are painful, and the electricity is adjusted to block the pain signals that travel from your body to your brain. These types of units are sometimes recommended by your physician for home use for pain control.

Interferential (IFC) or premodulated current are types of electrical stimulation treatment that are useful for decreasing pain.

Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) causes one or more muscles to contract, using an electrical current. The current can be gentle or forceful. The setting a physical therapist uses is based on which area is being treated. NMES can help with a variety of conditions. For example, it can be used to increase muscle function and can promote blood flow to an area that needs help in healing.

Russian stimulation is a type of electrical stimulation that is similar to NMES but uses a different wave form. Russian stimulation is used often with patients who have had ACL reconstructions and have swelling that is inhibiting their quadriceps muscles from contracting.


Some forms of electrical stimulation are passive treatments and should be accompanied with active forms of physical therapy to provide lasting benefits.

A complete physical therapy program will always involve active engagement, though electrical stimulation is often used, as well.

Our experts at Physiocare Physical Therapy are always happy to answer questions about various modalities, such as electrical stimulation. We are a direct access facility, which means you can schedule an appointment for physical therapy with no doctor referral needed. Many physicians and other medical professionals refer patients to us, as well, for the best in quality physical therapy treatments.