rehabilitation therapies at gillette children’s specialty healthcare Electrical Stimulation A Painless Treatment That Relieves Pain Builds Muscles and Eases Spasticity For a number of reasons e by a76m823ik

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									rehabilitation therapies
   at gillette children’s specialty healthcare


Electrical Stimulation
    A Painless Treatment That Relieves Pain,
    Builds Muscles and Eases Spasticity
     For a number of reasons, electrical stimulation is often a treatment of choice at Gillette Children’s Specialty
     Healthcare. Electrical stimulation, a painless treatment that stimulates nerves in the skin, uses electrical signals
     which can block certain messages (such as pain) from reaching the brain. It also can transmit messages (such as
     telling a particular muscle to contract) that might not otherwise reach the brain or spinal cord. We use two types
     of electrical stimulation:
     s   Trans-cutaneus electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
     s   Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES)

     Both types use small pads containing electrodes. The pads are taped to a patient’s body and attached to a
     stimulator that emits electrical impulses. You or your child can adjust the frequency and strength of the impulses.

     Each electrical stimulation method has a distinct purpose
     s TENS for pain control

       Most pain is temporary. It begins when body tissue is damaged and subsides as healing occurs. Chronic pain,
       on the other hand, often develops gradually. Surgery, amputation, diseases and other medical conditions can
       result in chronic pain, which is difficult to treat. Some chronic pain is relatively mild; some is disabling. It can
       interfere with your child’s ability to sleep, eat, exercise, learn and socialize. TENS prevents pain impulses from
       reaching the brain. In some cases, it promotes healing by increasing the flow of blood to an injured or diseased
       area. When used as directed, TENS is a safe, drug-free way to manage pain. Although it doesn’t cure the
       source of pain, for many people it can improve the quality of life.

     s   NMES for muscle re-education and to facilitate strengthening
         NMES facilitates strengthening by stimulating a specific muscle — in effect, teaching it to perform exercises.
         After the muscle grows stronger, children may be able to perform the exercises on their own. NMES also can
         improve a child’s range of motion. Children with weak quadricep muscles, for example, often find that
         electrical stimulation helps them fully extend their knees. NMES sometimes is used to decrease spasticity by
         fatiguing a spastic muscle. It also can re-educate muscles to turn on and off at the right time. A child with tight
         heel cords, for example, might walk more easily after electrical stimulation helps the heel cord and nearby
         muscles learn to contract and release correctly.

         TENS and NMES may result in a tingling or massaging — but still pain-free — sensation.

     For more information, call the manager of Rehabilitation Therapies at 651-229-3905 or 800-719-4040.
200 University Avenue East
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101
        651-291-2848
 www.gillettechildrens.org

								
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