Greater communication comes greater awareness and options to manage your arthritis; without medications. What are they?
3.9 Million people in Australia suffer from arthritis, that is 1 in 6!
For the majority of suffers the pain is managed with medications, but when 1 in 10 people seeking genuine pain relief are getting addicted to opioids; makes you wonder if the cure is worse than the ailment.
Even a simple Panadol, when taken daily could raise the risk of heart attacks, stroke and early death.
So even when medications that are prescribed by medical professionals can cause some serious damage, where else do we look to find relief?
In a study published on the US national library of medicine www.pubmed.gov the organisation ran trials for the effects of EMS on Arthritis, focusing on rheumatoid arthritis in the hands. They tested 36 Electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) sessions over a 16-week period finding it improved muscle function in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Unedited excerpt from the study: Of the two relevant studies that were identified in the literature, only one Randomised controlled trials (RCT) met the inclusion criteria. This RCT compared the effects of two electrostimulation (ES) protocols on hand function in general and on the performance of the first dorsal interosseous muscle in particular, in 15 patients with RA and secondary disuse atrophy of the first dorsal interosseous of the dominant hand. The results showed that ES had significant benefit when compared to a control no treatment group in terms of muscle strength and fatigue resistance of the first dorsal interosseous. Most favourable results were obtained by using a patterned stimulation derived from a fatigued motor unit of the first dorsal interosseous in a normal hand rather than a fixed 10 Hz stimulation frequency. Side effects of the EMS application were not reported.
EMS or Electro Muscle Stimulation devices are considered to be highly useful in treating osteoarthritis. These devices work by stimulating the muscles that results in muscle expansion and contraction. It operates through a very low voltage waveform and applied to the human body (affected areas) using conductive pads. The pads are placed strategically on certain parts of the body to help stimulate the muscle motor nerves. It also helps in increasing the blood flow to different muscles that ultimately helps in the recovery process. The outcome of the therapy speeds up the body’s rehabilitation procedure and facilitates removal of lactic acid deposits from muscles making the muscles relax faster.
Another arthritis that is common among older people is Osteoarthritis of the knee-joint. It is mostly caused because of wear and tear of muscles around the knee-joint as a result of daily activities. In most common scenarios, knee problems occur due to lack of proper support to the joint of the knee by surrounding muscles. This ultimately results in deterioration of knee cartilage resulting in serious pain.
EMS treatment option can be highly effective in healing muscle injuries and joint pain also encourages blood circulation, muscle stimulation and healing.
Dr. Thomas M. Mitchell, D.C., CCSP wrote in his blog about The Benefits of E.M.S. Therapy https://chicagohealthandwellness.com on March 16, 2017
Extraction: Because of the restricted range of motion in tender and swollen joints, EMS therapy works well for arthritis sufferers by increasing range of motion in their joints and reducing pain and inflammation. Pain relief is accomplished when the body begins secreting additional amounts of endorphins and other natural pain relievers to the affected area.
More and more studies are being released about EMS. Several years ago it was hard to find more than a few which generally weren’t clinical.
With the amount of information on the internet, it is both encouraging and overwhelming to try and make our own choices with our treatment. With any pain condition, medication is always going to be the first go-to, as we adjust into the cycle of the ailment but with greater communication comes greater awareness of other, healthier and hopefully better options.
What else does TENS/EMS treat?
- back pain
- joint pain
- muscle conditioning (especially for athletes, such as long-distance runners)
- muscle injury from trauma or disease
- nerve inflammation
- poor muscle strength
- Pain due to inactivity including flying
- deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- urinary incontinence
- spinal cord injury
- surgery recovery