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Electric Stimulation in Physical Therapy: Benefits & Uses.

7 pages
1666 words
Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
Research paper
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Electric stimulation is a medical kind of physical therapy modality which is mainly conducted to achieve numerous responsibilities in physical therapy. Therefore, for a case of an injury or sickness that causes agony and or incomplete practical flexibility in muscles, electrical stimulation might be applicable during the reintegration program (Jones, et al., 2016). It is evident that electric stimulation is conducted for many different reasons in PT. In rare cases, electric stimulation has been used to help treat stubborn wounds. Thus, being a relatively passive modality nothing extreme is needed to be done by the patient while the treatment is in progress. Instead, consistent participation of the patient is what will result in the positive outcome of the procedure.

The major types of electric stimulation used on the health-related situation for humans are like; Neuromuscular electric stimulation which mainly focuses on administering electrical currents on muscles for them to contract. Iontophoresis is also a type of electrical stimulation used to conduct various medication through the skin to the body via the electrical currents (Jones, et al., 2016). Transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation focuses on managing acute and chronic pains in physical therapy where the application of the electrodes to the organization over painful areas are attuned to put aside the pain from being transmitted to the brain (Ji, Kim, Yun, Chung, & Kwon 2017). High voltage galvanic current is mainly used to relieve aches, advance blood flow, and progress joint movement through the use of extreme voltage and low-frequency voltage injected into nerves. Lastly, there is Interferential current which is also mainly used by therapists to kill pain, muscular contraction, and progress blood flow to numerous tissues or muscles.

Provide Such for a Protein Aggregation Disease Such ss Heart Disease, the Design, and Application to Human Organ or Tissue

It has been noted how neurodegenerative diseases have mutual cellular and molecular apparatuses plus protein aggregation and body development. For instance, the gathering of entails fiber and misfolded proteins with "beta-sheet" validation named amyloid. Heart disease, in this case, involves the circumstances that include congested plasma vessels that can lead to a heart attack, stroke, heart muscles, and chest pains. Severe myocardial infarction happens when blood distribution to the heart is intermittent, initiating irretrievable myocardial ischemia, damage of cardiac muscle cells, and development of a noncontractile wound. Subsequently, there is a necessity to advance therapeutic approaches that will endorse the quick rebuilding of the damaged tissue and regeneration of its contractile capacity.

There have been spotlights on the main procedures that are involved in the combining of cells with regenerative measurements with an online registry that uses bioimplants which are known as tissue engineering. Thus, the application to a human organ or instead tissue of this cardiomyoplasty objectives is to re-establish the injured myocardium through separation implantation of cardiomyogenic stem cells in the dysfunctional ventricle (Ji, et al., 2017). Thus, the major constituent of concentration on this therapeutical approach is the prime of cell types and the most suitable route of distribution.

Details how Electric Voltage, Current, AC Frequency, Etc. for Each of the Medical Situation, Amplitude, and Duration

Electric voltage, current, ac frequency, and amplitudes work handy but with different functions on the medical condition required. For instance, Neuromuscular electrical stimulation, electrodes are being placed on the skin on the appropriate muscle fibers. Current changes can also be applied to allow a powerful muscle function to enable blood flow. Interferent current used for pain decrease uses approximately four electrodes in a cross pattern which causes wires to interfere with one another thus allowing the use of a higher intensity current. The high voltage galvanic current tends to use high voltage and low-frequency electricity so as they can penetrate deep down the tissues.

Lastly, the transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation tends to use electrodes over the painful areas; thus, the more the pain, the more the adjustments of the electricity. The application of different electrical procedures depends on the diagnostics of the PT to the patients. For instance, some require longer time with low voltage while others require high energy. Therefore, all these aspects of electricity are crucial and critical in regards to medical situations.

What is the Mechanism of the Treatment or What Cells or Tissues Responds to the Electric Stimulation?

The definitive explanation of the principles for cardiac stimulation is by the energy-time frame curvature that might be obtainable for current. Modicums for all of these happen at dissimilar waveform periods. The critical machinery which the stimulus is actively operative is changing the divergence possibilities of the cell membranes found in the heart.. Electric stimulation has been portrayed to express the healing and regeneration in skin, bones, muscles, and nerve tissues. Due to the variation of the tissue's decompositions, the electrical resistivity of the tissues tends to vary due to density, membrane permeability, electrolyte contents, and tissue types. Thus, it is the work of the bioelectrical impedance analysis to measure the resistivity of these biological tissues in the body. Therefore, when there is a default in the electrical properties of given tissues, and there is an occurrence of nutritional and metabolic disorders bioelectrical impedance analysis is used to diagnose the problem of the organ malfunctions.

The cellular movement is controlled by the circulation of solvable ions through numerous ion networks, propels and transporters, which are typically membrane proteins exposed to exterior stimuli, including electricity. Multiple membrane proteins, known as voltage-sensing proteins, such as ion networks, transporters, propels, and enzymes not only intellect but use an exterior electric field to control cellular roles.

How is the Effectiveness of the Treatment Assessed?

Electrical stimulation has been identified as the most convenient mode of treatment with actual effectiveness. For instance, the recent studies show that the application of electrical stimulation in influencing cell behaviors based on clinical procedures has reduced the rate at which muscle and other dysfunctional nerves have been treated through the process of tissue engineering (Mandrycky, Wang, Kim, & Kim, 2016). Even though most of the electric stimulation is classified as passive treatment, there have been typical results on the effectiveness of the patients with different problems. Therefore, having the analytical instrument which the stimulus is operative with changing division probable of the cell films in the heart. Thus, protein aggregation disease such as Heart disease can be managed through limited depolarization of these cells recruits a force contributing to a comprehensive depolarization which on the other hand activates cardiac cell contraction (Mandrycky, Wang, Kim, & Kim, 2016). The effectiveness of this treatment entails effective dissemination when electric stimulation is used for pacemaking for depolarization which happens from different cells creating an instrument for the whole heart.

What is the Side Effect of the Treatment?

This treatment is prone to side effects if not well executed and if medication instructions are followed to the later. Consequently, electrical stimulation portrays different unfortunate problems which might be risky if not attentively taken care off. For insane, with electrical stimulation, there can be irritation of the skin, tissue burns and muscle wear experiences (Starkebaum, Maude-Griffin, Firestone, Schu, & Soykan, 2018). On the discussed treatment about protein aggregation disease, tissue engineering seems to be the most suitable medication medium even though its mechanical properties are limited to risks such as viral infections, unstable material supply, deterioration, and antigenicity if they are implanted for a very long time. This is because the biomaterials contain impressive psychological properties like the cell adhesion which tend to support themselves and with low risk of exposure to infections.

How an Electrical Engineer Could Contribute to this Area of Medicine?

An electrical engineer has a great opportunity in making advances in this area of medicine through proper research and the knowledge of electrical engineering compatibility with the human body (Sun, & Nunes, 2017). For instance, they can embark on looking at ways through which the surgeries of removing batteries from the pacemakers could be minimized by looking at how pacemakers and other implantable devices could harness power and energy within the body without undergoing many surgeries.

To archive this, the engineers could save the many people who depend on pacemakers and other life-saving implants devices that are powered by the batteries that need to be replaced after a period, which can be very expensive at times and can result to infections and complications. For instance, this can be archived through when the pacemakers are formulated to accumulate the locomotive energy of the lead cable that is typically joined to the heart which will then translate it into current which will continuously charge the cells of the pacemakers (Sahara, Hijikata, Tomioka, and Shinshi, 2016). This will be attained by the addition of the thin polymer piezoelectric film known as the PVDF which can convert even a tiny mechanical motion into electricity. It is clear that electrical engineers have a critical role to play in this field of medicine and through their help, many lives can be saved.


Ji, S. T., Kim, H., Yun, J., Chung, J. S., & Kwon, S. M. (2017). Promising therapeutic strategies for mesenchymal stem cell-based cardiovascular regeneration: from cell priming to tissue engineering. Stem cells international, 2017. DOI: 10.1155/2017/3945403

Jones, S., Man, W. D. C., Gao, W., Higginson, I. J., Wilcock, A., & Maddocks, M. (2016). Neuromuscular electrical stimulation for muscle weakness in adults with advanced disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (10). DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009419.pub3

Mandrycky, C., Wang, Z., Kim, K., & Kim, D. H. (2016). 3D bioprinting for engineering complex tissues. Biotechnology advances, 34(4), 422-434.

Sahara, G., Hijikata, W., Tomioka, K., & Shinshi, T. (2016). Implantable power generation system utilizing muscle contractions excited by electrical stimulation. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine, 230(6), 569-578.

Starkebaum, W.L., Maude-Griffin, R.C., Firestone, E.D., Schu, C.A. and Soykan, O., Medtronic Inc, 2018. Waveforms for electrical stimulation therapy. U.S. Patent 9,937,344.

Sun, X., & Nunes, S. S. (2017). Maturation of human stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes in biowires using electrical stimulation. JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments), (123), e55373. doi:10.3791/55373ER

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