Electrotherapy and Pain Management: Everything You Need to Know


March 19, 2021

We all hate seeing our loved ones in pain- be it physical or emotional pain. Various pain management techniques have been employed when it comes to physical pain, such as; pain-relieving medicines, trigger point injections, and exercise. However, recent studies have proven that electrotherapy is an extremely effective treatment mechanism for pain management. Read on to find out more about electrotherapy and all it entails.

What Is Electrotherapy?

As the name suggests, electricity is the major component of this process. Electrotherapy is a therapeutic pain management technique that involves electrical stimulation. It entails the use of either electric or magnetic stimulation of the body to help reduce body pain- both chronic and acute.

How Does It Treat Body Pain?

For electric stimulation, an electrical stimulator device that is either current or voltage-controlled is positioned on the body, directly over the pain area. This device then proceeds to release electrical impulses that block the transmission of pain signals in your body, reducing the pain in that particular area.

The process is basically similar when it comes to magnetic stimulation; the only difference is the use of magnetic coils instead of electrodes. Some of the pain conditions that are treated by electrotherapy include;

• Diabetic nerve pain.
• Migraine headaches.
Lower back pain-both acute and chronic.
• Acute and chronic neck pain.

Types of Electrotherapy

This is a very diverse pain management technique that consists of numerous types-often categorized mostly according to the area of the body where they are positioned. The various types of electrotherapy include;


Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is among the most popular type of electrotherapy. This type of electrotherapy involves the use of cutaneous electrodes to help relieve body pain. Studies have shown that TENS is extremely effective when dealing with certain conditions- painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, cold-induced pain, and low back pain.


When the electrotherapy treatment involves electrodes or magnetic coils being placed on your head-targeting your brain- this is often referred to as Transcranial Electrical Stimulation (TES).

Electroacupuncture (EA)

Acupuncture is a well-known pain-relieving technique that involves inserting needles into your skin. Electroacupuncture is basically the same, with an added electric component. The needles are connected to wires that transmit a mild electric current into your body which results in pain relief.

Benefits of Electrotherapy

Pain relief: This is certainly the most outstanding benefit of electrotherapy. It is an extremely efficient pain management strategy that has helped with numerous pain conditions.

Reducing inflammation: Electrotherapy also qualifies as an ideal anti-inflammatory. It does away with the pain and swelling that are often caused by inflammation.

Improving blood circulation: Poor blood flow is a serious condition that often leads to muscle cramps, fatigue, and dizziness. Electrotherapy rectifies this by improving your blood circulation.

Side Effects

Just like any other treatment, electrotherapy results in certain side effects. However, the side effects of this treatment aren’t serious. The most common ones include;
• Skin irritation
• A rash
• A burning sensation.

These often result from the adhesives on the electrodes or when one overuses this treatment technique.

Bottom Line

Electrotherapy is an extremely efficient pain management method that deals with a wide range of pain conditions. Therefore, if you’re suffering from chronic or acute pain, do not suffer in silence. Be sure to book an appointment with Southeast Pain and Spine Care today!