5 Compelling Reasons To Continue To Recommend Electrotherapy To Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis

A staggering number of Americans now require total knee replacement (TKR) surgery at an earlier age. The primary condition that contributes to surgery is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is present in most people demanding this well-known surgery. Nevertheless, surgery is the only known cure to completely remove the unhealthy tissue. Furthermore, obesity and sedentary lifestyles also contribute to the progress of knee arthritis. Once diagnosed, reversing the progress of this debilitating disease and extending the wait time to perform is essential Consequently, applying lifestyle changes such as eating right and regular strength building activities to slow down osteoarthritis advancement proves highly beneficial.

Americans are also faced with emerging, more complex, obstacles to care for knee arthritis. Lack of insurance, financial complications, and support issues also play major contributions to interrupt persons looking to reverse arthritis development. These distractions compromise the quality of life, slows down daily activities, increases stress, pain, and inflammation (Noehren).

Traditional therapy methods provide a solution but are not as realistic to follow with this new generation with such a demanding lifestyle. Even for the most compliant patient, anatomy issues persist, and a cost-effective adjunct to therapy is needed to achieve the most optimal outcome.

For those who are in need, these little units, aka electrotherapy, still serve as a kick-to-a-punch in the pre and rehabilitation processes. Needless to say, continued electrotherapy recommendations from healthcare professionals act as a green light to help legitimize and improve the general population’s awareness and compliance for these at-home, portable, little medical devices.

A non-addictive pain reliever
Forms of atrophy, edema, and pain are recovery complications that may take months to heal if not attended to properly. Electrotherapy provides localized pain relief needed for short and long-term use (Noehren)

Speed up the healing process
After surgery, patients expected to attend therapy the at-home device can be used more often and more days.
Immediate Results Through electrotherapy receptors (Gate Control Theory can immediately block pain, reduce swelling, increase range of motion, increase gait and alleviate muscle fatigue

Reduces recovery time
Electrotherapy in conjunct with physical therapy rejuvenates muscle tissue and alleviates pain providing an effective tool for both before and after surgery healing processes thus getting your patients back to their lifestyle.

Cost-effectiveness
The decrease in productivity, co-payments, gas, transportation, are contributors to on individuals with osteoarthritis as well as society. (Shockwave)
Pain relief specialist and American neurosurgeon Clyde Norman Shealy patented the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation aka TENS unit in 1974 (A Concise History). Since then, electrotherapy devices such as TENS, NMES (neuromuscular electrical stimulation), and IF (inferential) has developed into the wide-spread treatment for other chronic conditions and is more affordable to the general public.


References:

A Concise History of the TENS Unit. Tens.net. http://www.tens.net/a-concise-history-of-the-tens-unit/.Accessed February 21, 2017.

Konishi Y, McNair PJ, Rice DA. TENS Alleviates Muscle Weakness Attributable to Attenuation of IaAfferents. International journal of sports medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28192829. Published February 13, 2017. Accessed February 21, 2017.

Noehren B, Dailey DL, Rakel BA, et al. Effect of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation on Pain, Function, and Quality of Life in Fibromyalgia: A Double-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial. PhysicalTherapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4295083/. Published January 25, 2015. Accessed February 21, 2017.

Shockwave Therapy for Pain Associated with Lower Extremity Orthopedic Disorders: A Review of the

Clinical and Cost-Effectiveness [Internet]. National Center for Biotechnology Information.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27831676. Accessed February 21, 2017.

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