Accident Recovery– Alternative Pain Relief Using Electricity
I’m Ed Smith, a West Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Injuries sustained from an automobile accident can range from minor to traumatic. These injuries can lead to emergency surgeries or health complications later on in life. Impacts with great force that cause rapid changes in direction can seriously injure or strain the muscles in the back, neck, and extremities. Doctors and surgeons prescribe powerful medications to the victims of these accidents to help them cope with the resulting pain, but many times these drugs can have defects and unwanted side effects such as nausea, hallucinations, and addiction. Reducing the pain you feel is important to make a quick and full recovery from an accident. Chiropractors and Physical Therapists use electrical devices that can help reduce the pain in injury sites while promoting faster healing.
E.M.S. stands for electronic muscle stimulation. The machine uses electrode patches placed on the skin around specific muscles and sends currents between them which stimulate the muscles. This reduces pain by helping the muscles relax and reduces inflammation and swelling. Inflammation and swelling cause pain in the muscles because of pressure from the increase of fluid in the tight spaces between muscle tissue. The muscle stimulation also increases blood circulation which relaxes the muscles and helps pump the extra fluid out.
Car accident victims often suffer muscle strains, spasms, and tightness as a result of the forces involved in the collision. A cervical sprain also known as whiplash is a common injury received. Many people already have tight muscles in their neck from using computers or sitting at desks for prolonged periods of time. When those muscles are subject to the rapid velocity changes and G forces from an accident they easily spasm and become inflamed. Treatment with an EMS device can help relieve those muscles and allow them to relax and heal.
TENS units may appear very similar to EMS units in both form and operation but they are designed to reduce pain by two different mechanisms. T.E.N.S. stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Transcutaneous means “through the skin”. The electrical signals sent from patches similar to ones on an EMS machine are pushed down through the skin to the nerve endings underneath. Your nerves all run on electrical impulses sent to and from your brain. These signals can be overridden by other stimuli or deadened by natural pain killers.
Your brain does not like to handle many different signals from all the sensory receptors in your body at once. Imagine if you felt everything touching you all at once such as every inch of clothes you are wearing or the pressure of your bottom on a chair. It would be very hard to concentrate on the important things like school or work. Your brain has the ability to deaden the input from these nerves until there is a big change in signal strength. With a TENS unit, the constant nerve stimulation from an injured area can interfere with the pain receptors and cause your brain to not pay attention to them for a while.
TENS units can also increase a natural production of endorphins which are chemicals that can block nerve pain by stopping or lessening their electrical impulses to the brain. Endorphins also increase your mood which goes a long way in helping an individual recover from serious injuries. Many painkillers, like morphine, are chemically similar to endorphins and also work in the same way to block pain. These drugs are highly addictive and can cause the body to reduce the production of its own endorphins.
The TENS unit is a good choice for people with chronic pain. Low back pain is becoming more and more common as a result of increased sedentary lifestyles and is also a common result from car or motorcycle accidents. Interference of the nerves that cause pain can allow an individual to perform therapeutic exercises and stretches that will help them recover from acute or chronic pain.
West Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a West Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. If you, or a loved one, have received serious injuries because of any accident, give me a call at 916-921-6400 for helpful, free and friendly advice. Or, please call 800-404-5400 free of charge.
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Image Source: By Jennifer Campbell, Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34529255
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