According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50 million American adults had chronic pain in 2016. That is a whopping 24 percent of the population unable to go about their daily business normally.
Opioids are among the most popular conventional ways of managing chronic pain, but the emergence of the opioid epidemic has had researchers looking for equally effective but less damaging alternatives. The following are four healthcare technological advances used in the management of pain:
1. Electrical Stimulation
Electrical stimulation, or simply E-stim, is a physical therapy technique that uses electrode pads and an electrical stimulation device. The pads are attached to the skin on the painful area and connected to the E-stim device, whose work is to generate electric impulses. The impulses vary in intensity, and the physiotherapist will use the patient’s tolerance to calibrate the device.
E-stim technology works by stimulating the affected muscle’s contractions. Depending on the device’s settings and the target tissue, these contractions can take the form of rapid, painless twitches or be completely unnoticeable.