Electrostimulation in veterinary physiotherapy is an instrumental technique with which the physical force (electric energy) that the therapist uses to obtain the biological effect is generated and conveyed. Its use is widely exploited, as well as for the treatment of neurological and orthopedic diseases also in pain control, to improve muscle tone and strength, in the correction of postural abnormalities, in the reduction of edema and in the transdermal absorption of drugs. (iontophoresis).
Modern electrostimulation devices have a wide variety of programs and modulations adaptable to different needs, from the recovery of atrophy and muscle strengthening to analgesic streams. Electrostimulation through acupuncture needles, totally harmless to the animal, allows to work efficiently and precisely even on small areas and ensures maximum comfort for the patient.
Through the depolarization of muscle cells, electrostimulation leads to a muscular contraction and reproduces the normal physiological activity of the affected muscle without however subjecting it to loads.
Electrostimulation can be divided into:
EMS (Electrical muscular stimulation) muscle stimulation, is used to excite the denervated muscles
The electrostimulators can use three types of current:
Galvanic continuous current (used for iontophoresis in human rehabilitative medicine) in which electrons always follow the same direction without undergoing changes.
Alternating current: whose units are biphasic recommended for muscle strengthening
Monophasic continuous current.
The parameters to be evaluated when using the electrostimulation are:
FREQUENCY: number of oscillations made by the wave per second, is expressed in pulses per second (pps) or Hertz (Hz) and is between 25 and 50 Hz.
INTENSITY: it corresponds in practice to the amplitude, that is, to the value of the current in a monophasic pulse or for each single phase of a biphasic pulse, and is measured in one thousand Amperes (mA).
DURATION: it corresponds to the duration of an impulse and is usually measured in microseconds and can vary from 150 to 250 microseconds, the shorter duration stimulates the sensitive fibers that are placed more superficially close to the electrodes and then stimulated first with respect to the motor fibers that need a more lasting stimulation.
WAVEFORM: it corresponds to the visual representation of the pulsed current on a current / time diagram.
TEMPO ON / OF: indicates the amount of time that the stimulator emits current in relation to the period of rest type between contractions, it is measured in seconds.
NMES (NeuroMuscolar Elictrical Stimulation)
neuromuscular electrostimulation, used for the stimulation of a peripheral nerve in order to obtain a sensory response, algic or motor, is the type of electrostimulation mostly used mainly for muscle strengthening, with the exception of denervated muscles. The use of NMES is indicated in the cases of:
- Spondylaratosis and spondylosis
- Otropedic surgery
- Muscle tears
- Cauda Equina
- Wobbler syndrome
- Ernie del disco
- Prevention of muscular atrophy
- Promote osteogenesis processes in patients with fractures
- Post orthopedic surgery
- NMES CONTRAINDICATIONS
Presence of tumors
Infectious processes in progress
Acute inflammation of the treated area
The animal that must be subjected to electrostimulation is placed in lateral decubitus, the part of the mantle over the area where the electrostimulation will be performed must be shorn to promote the impedance and clean skin before treatment. First of all, it is necessary to locate exactly the point where the motor nerve enters the muscle, so as to obtain an appropriate contraction with the minimum current, to minimize the patient’s discomfort. Then sprinkle the area of ??gel or water to transmit the current, then apply the electrode in the chosen zone using a 1Hz pulsed current, the second electrode is applied in function of the desired effect on the muscular stomach, at the level of motor point, on the peripheral nerves, on the roots of the spinal nerves or directly on the painful area. The smaller the electrode, the greater the density of the current and the more annoying the stimulus will be. Moreover, the ideal electrodes must have a low resistance (<100 Ohms), a high conductivity and a good flexibility in order to adapt to the fabric. which are applied.The duration, intensity and frequency of treatment vary individually depending on the case to be treated, usually distinguishes between:
- Acute conditions
- Low intensity
- Short duration of treatment
- Chronic conditions
- High intensity
- Long duration of treatment
The duration of the treatment is linked to the type of problem to be treated and in general can be distinguished in:
- Short: between 3 and 5 minutes
- Medium: 10 minutes
- 15 minutes long
- Very long: over 20 minutes
- TENS: (Transcutaneous Nerve Electrostimulation)
- The term TENS indicates all the electrostimulation units that apply a transcutaneous current, this electrotherapeutic technique refers to the physiological principle of GATE CONTROL.
The frequency, intensity and duration of treatment vary according to the condition of the patient and can be classified into:
- Low intensity
- Short treatment duration (5/10 minutes)
- Short intervals between treatments
- CHRONIC CONDITIONS
Longer treatment duration
Greater length of intervals between one treatment and another.
Before starting the treatment it is advisable to give the patient some warm compresses on the area to be treated for about 10 minutes and to place the patient in a comfortable position (generally lateral decubitus) possibly on a soft and comfortable and possibly not cold surface.