- Surprising Reasons You're in Pain Slideshow
- Take the Pain Quiz
- Joint-Friendly Exercises to Reduce RA Pain Slideshow
- Introduction to bioelectric therapy
- What conditions are treated with bioelectric therapy?
- How effective is bioelectric therapy for pain relief?
- What happens during bioelectric therapy?
- What are the side effects of bioelectric therapy?
- How often should people get bioelectric therapy?
- How do people prepare for bioelectric therapy?
How Effective Is Bioelectric Therapy?
Bioelectric therapy is effective in providing temporary pain control, but it should only be a part of a total pain management program. When used along with conventional pain-relieving medications, bioelectric treatment may reduce the dose of some pain medications by up to 50%.
What Happens During Bioelectric Therapy?
During bioelectric therapy, several small, flat rubber adhesive discs (called electrodes) are applied to your skin at prescribed areas to be treated. Sometimes rubber suction cups (called vaso pneumatic devices) may be applied to your skin. The electrodes are hooked up to a computer that programs the precise treatment dosage required. High frequency alternating electrical currents are then applied to the electrodes. The currents move through the skin quickly with little discomfort. During treatment, your response to the electrical stimulation is measured.
When electricity is applied, a mild vibrating, tingling sensation is common. This sensation should not be uncomfortable; you should feel a relaxing, soothing pain relief. As the currents are applied, you will provide verbal feedback to the clinician. If the sensation becomes too strong, please tell the clinician right away so the treatment can be adjusted. You should be comfortable and enjoy the treatment, which lasts about 20 minutes.
What Are the Side Effects of Bioelectric Therapy?
In rare cases, skin irritation and redness can occur under the electrodes during bioelectric therapy.
How Often Should I Get Bioelectric Therapy?
The number of bioelectric therapy sessions required depends on each person's condition and response to treatment. One bioelectric therapy session does not usually result in pain relief. Therapy usually begins with about five sessions in one week, followed by three treatments per week. A normal course of treatment includes 16 to 20 treatments.