Electrical Stimulation/E-Stim Therapy
Every time we move our arms or legs, it’s because several muscles received an electrical impulse to do so. In physical therapy, electrical stimulation (e-stim) is used to help speed recovery of soft tissues and joints. Most stimulation treatments take about 5-10 minutes and may be coupled with ice or heat. Dr. Darding uses different methods of electric muscle stimulation therapy in her care plans.
This method of treatment is used to cause an interference with pain signals that the affected part of your body is trying to send. Two channels of electrical stimulation create a third current that penetrates the affected tissues with little resistance. This stimulation helps control pain and muscle contractions. Dr. D often uses this method after patients have endured ankle sprains, meniscus repair surgery or rotator cuff surgery.
This type of estim is used for soft and connective tissues, and aims to decrease pain or reinforce a change in tissue after manual physical therapy. A pre-modulated stimulation involves two pads so the electrical stimulation runs in the area between the two pads. Dr. D may use this type of elecrical stimulation along a ligament or tendon, such as the achilles tendon.
Chiropractic ultrasound therapy uses acoustic energy at a high frequency to produce a continuous wave. The thermal effects of this wave result in increased blood flow, reduced stiffness and spasm, increased joint flexibility, and decreased pain. Dr. D may also use ultrasound treatment that uses pulsed waves to produce non-thermal effects. Benefits of this type of ultrasound therapy include tissue regeneration, increased blood flow, and reduced swelling.
Spinal Traction Therapy
Many of the patients in our office come to us with pain from herniated discs, sciatica, and degenerative disc disease. Their pain results from nerves that are being compressed because there’s not enough room between their vertebrae. Spinal traction takes pressure off of compressed discs and nerves by gently pulling vertebrae apart and creating more space between them. Dr. Darding utilizes both manual and mechanical traction techniques.
Manual/Mechanical Spinal Traction
Using her hands, Dr. D uses manual force on the joints and muscles to widen the spaces between vertebrae. She often uses a flexion/distraction table to perform a manual traction of the lower back and mechanical traction of the neck to open up the spaces between the vertebrae. Decompression of the spine is essential to alleviate pressure on herniated or bulging discs. Patients often walk out of our office after spinal traction with immediate relief, while some return for several more treatments.
I was ready to have surgery to ease the pain from my sciatica. But Dr. Darding was able to relieve the pressure from my sciatic nerve with spinal traction, and I don’t feel that pain down my leg any more.
– Ben Wallace, Columbia