Understanding Bioelectric Therapy

Chronic pain is a public health problem. Experts aren’t sure exactly how many adults in the US have chronic pain, but estimates are between 11% and 40%. Chronic pain can be the result of a condition such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, or can be due to an injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or an injury sustained in an auto accident. 

Chronic pain limits your daily life and makes it difficult for you to complete your obligations or participate in activities you enjoy. It can lead to depression — or be a result of depression — and is closely associated with opioid addiction

At Apex Medical Center, our staff of dedicated professionals wants to help you live a full, active, and healthy life. We understand that chronic pain can make doing so difficult or even impossible. We offer numerous tools designed to help you with pain management, and many of our patients are unfamiliar with some of our techniques, such as bioelectric therapy. 

Bioelectric therapy, explained

Your nerves are sort of like the wiring system of your body. The impulses that move along your nerves and carry signals to and from your brain are electrical signals. Bioelectric therapy is based on the idea that those signals can be manipulated. 

Biologically, pain serves a purpose. If you reach toward an open flame, the pain of a burn tells you you’re too close. If you’ve pulled a muscle, the pain tells you to stop using that muscle while it heals. 

However, when you have a condition like arthritis, which is a degenerative condition without a cure, the pain signals don’t help. In fact, they may stop you from doing things like exercising, which could, in the long run, improve your symptoms. If you have an autoimmune condition, the pain signals could actually be part of an immune system malfunction. 

In such cases, and many others, disrupting the signals in your peripheral nervous system can prevent pain. By stimulating a nerve or group of nerves, the electrical signals that cause you to perceive pain are disrupted. Bioelectric therapy is systematically disrupting the electrical impulses that cause pain. 

How bioelectric therapy works

Bioelectric therapy goes by many names: neurostimulation, biostimulation, neuromodulation, electroceuticals, and probably others, as well. It’s a relatively new approach to pain management, and research is ongoing. 

There are different ways to deliver bioelectric therapy. You may have small leads attached to your body to carry a gentle electric current to precise locations along your nerves. Some people have devices implanted that are activated at certain times with a magnet, and sometimes bioelectric devices are handheld and the therapy is delivered in our office. Other implantable devices are activated at certain times when specific conditions are met. 

Technically speaking, a pacemaker is a type of bioelectrical device. It controls the electrical impulses in your heart when certain conditions occur. Bioelectric therapy for chronic pain is similar, though it’s power to control pain is just now being explored. 

A pain management plan for you

Chronic pain can stem from a multitude of underlying causes, so the best plan to manage your pain depends at least in part on why you’re in pain. When you come to Apex Medical Center, we determine a plan of treatment based on your symptoms, your medical history, your lifestyle, and many other factors. Bioelectric therapy may be one piece of a larger plan. 

If you’d like to learn more about our pain management services, or about bioelectric therapy, schedule an appointment at Apex Medical Center. We’re happy to answer your questions in the context of your own situation. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Myths and Facts About Group Counseling

The idea of group therapy can be scary, but that’s partly due to misconceptions and common myths about what it is and how it works. In this post we present some of those myths, along with some facts about group counseling you may not know.

Joint Health Tips You Can Start Using Today

You probably don’t spend much time thinking about your joints — until they start to hurt. Then, you may start considering how to protect them! Here are some of our best tips for preserving your joint health.

Signs You May Need Marriage Counseling

Marriage counseling may seem like something you do as a last ditch effort to save your relationship — or to confirm it can’t be saved — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here, we discuss some signs that counseling could improve your marriage.

5 Things That May Be Making Your Joints Ache

Joint pain can build up slowly or begin suddenly. It can affect any part of your body where two bones meet. The underlying causes of joint pain vary and your age, sex, overall health, and other factors help doctors diagnose the cause of joint pain.

What to Expect at Your Hypnotherapy Session

Pain management often requires a multi-pronged approach, and if one of those prongs is hypnotherapy, you may feel both curious and nervous. In this post we discuss what to expect during your session, as well as why hypnotherapy works.

I Feel Anxious All the Time

Worrying is part of living, but worrying all the time can interfere with your quality of life, and make getting through a normal day difficult. Anxiety disorders can make it feel like worry rules your life, but there are effective treatments.