Electrical therapy is an electrical stimulus that works to deal with several types of neurological and psychiatric diseases. Aside from being done at home, this treatment can also be applied through operating procedures. Electrical therapy to deal with pain has been applied since ancient times, including using an electric shock from fish. With advances in technology and medical science, electrical therapy is now also widely used as a method of handling neurological diseases and psychiatric disorders, by using an electrical stimulation machine.
In the treatment of neurological diseases, this therapy works by sending electrical signals and stimulating the affected nerve so that it inhibits or reduces pain. However, there are many types of neurological diseases with various causes, so whether or not electrical therapy for patients needs to be consulted first to the doctor.
Different Types of Electric Therapy
Below are some types of electrical therapy that are often used:
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
TENS is an electrical therapy using a low voltage battery powered engine to relieve pain. This small machine delivers electrical signals through two electrodes to the nerves where the pain is felt. This method is most often used to deal with bone, muscle, and joint problems such as fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neck pain, and lower back pain. Allegedly the flow of electricity from these electrodes stimulates nerves sending signals to the brain to inhibit pain. Other allegations, electricity stimulates nerves to produce endorphins or natural pain relievers to inhibit the perception of pain. This TENS electric therapy method is more effective for treating fibromyalgia if coupled with exercise.
Percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS) or electroacupuncture
This method combines the East and West ways using small devices that deliver electrical signals to nerves through acupuncture needles. EEPIS, known as an alternative to TENS, stimulates the nerves associated with pain. The study found that this nerve stimulation was as effective as the stimulation of acupuncture points to relieve pain and that EEPIS was more effective than TENS in improving sleep quality and physical activity. The combination of EEPIS with treatment using etoricoxib is also effective in reducing chronic knee pain. However, the results of research on this method have not shown consistent results.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
Is one method of electrical therapy that requires surgery. This method was initially used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, but now DBS is also used to treat various psychological disorders such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)
rTMS is an acronym for repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation that utilizes electromagnetic waves to send electrical signals as a pain barrier. However, this treatment tends to require more than one session to get maximum results.