Currently viewing the tag: "electric muscle stimulation"


Upper back pain is becoming more and more common as computers play a bigger part in our daily lives.  I recently showed you how chiropractic adjustments can help relieve upper back pain.  Another useful approach to use in combination with chiropractic care is physiotherapy, including electric muscle stimulation, heat and deep tissue massage.

Sports chiropractors will use various modalities to help reduce muscle spasm and soreness of the upper and mid-back.  Electric muscle stimulation, or e-stim as it is sometimes called, helps reduce spasm by puttin the muscles in a brief and alternating contracted state.  This contraction/relaxation cycle is actually necessary to break the neurological disruption that is preventing the muscles from relaxing on their own.  Some medical doctors attempt to do this with muscle relaxant drugs (albeit through a different mechanism), but electric muscle stimulation is a physical modality to address a physical problem.  Watch the video above to see e-stim in action.

Heat helps by bringing blood to the area, which also allows muscles to relax.  Once the e-stim and heat therapy is complete, a session of myofascial therapy, or deep-tissue massage does wonders at breaking up knots, trigger points, sore areas, and any adhesions in the muscle tissue.  Then, the pièce de résistance, of course, is the chiropractic adjustment, which opens the stuck joint and brings normal movement back to the spine.


Watch the video to get a taste of what you can expect in a sports chiropractic office where you might be getting treated for upper and mid-back pain.  If you find yourself in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills or West Hollywood, please come visit my chiropractic office to get relief for your upper back pain woes.

Once the inflammation connected to your neck pain has diminished, you can start to receive muscle work. Muscle work, in this context, can refer to anything from massage, to trigger point therapy, to post-isometric relaxation (PIR). Although it is imperative for inflammation to be reduced, a practitioner can work around any inflamed area, so therapy for the upper back, for instance, can be very helpful to the person suffering from neck pain. Muscle spasm, a common reflexive guarding response to many neck injuries, can also be reduced with electric muscle stimulation. Watch the video to see a demonstration of this type of therapy.



Because the muscles can be such a large component of neck pain, wisdom is in addressing the muscle tissue to return blood flow, break up scar tissue formation, and realign the connective tissue fibers being laid down by repair cells so that this soft tissue can heal properly, and with least potential for creating an environment of chronicity (scar tissue, poor blood supply, trigger points). Once the neck pain muscle spasms have been reduced, those hyper-contracted muscles need to be relaxed.

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