What Is E-Stim Therapy (& How Does It Work)?

December 29, 2020

E-Stim therapy (or electrical muscular stimulation) can sound a bit intimidating when your chiropractor suggests it as a form of treatment.

“What is it? Why do I need it? Why would I benefit from it? Does it hurt? Can I stop once I start?”

You will find the answers to these questions as you read on and we hope that it helps ease any anxiety you feel about this treatment option.


What Is E-Stim?

E-Stim therapy is a way of using electricity to stimulate your muscles as a way of decreasing pain.

You may be surprised to learn that electrical muscular stimulation has been around for almost 2,000 years! Around 500 BC, Egyptians discovered that certain types of fish emit electric shocks and used those as a form of pain management. It extended throughout the centuries in different forms, and now we have electrode pads! A far cry from electric fish, eh?

Therapist placing E-stim pads on patient's shoulders

The theory is that the electricity sends impulses to your muscles, causing them to contract. As the muscle contracts and relaxes, it causes the body to release endorphins, natural pain management hormones emitted by our bodies.

The muscle continues to contract and relax as the electricity is sent through the muscles which helps to strengthen the target area and repair weak or damaged muscles/ligaments. This increased movement can also help with blood flow to the area.


Who Can Benefit?

In conjunction with your chiropractic adjustments, E-Stim therapy can further relieve your pain. If your adjustments are helping but the pain relief is not lasting through until your next appointment, E-Stim therapy could be your answer. It’s a targeted approach to problem areas.

Although E-Stim is a great pain relief option, it is not for everyone. Studies show that if you are pregnant, have cancer, or have heart conditions that these electrodes should not be placed near the areas where the condition is.

Please consult with your primary physician and your chiropractor in order to figure out which course of treatment is best and when. If the above conditions are not a factor for you, anyone who is experiencing pain can benefit from E-Stim.

Female patient getting e-stim therapy

Does It Hurt?

E-Stim therapy should not hurt. During your session, you will feel tingling, mild muscle contractions, and twitching. Our staff will adjust the settings to a level that is comfortable for you. If it becomes bothersome or too intense, let us know.

There is no need to force yourself to withstand “stronger” levels to experience a better result. You will experience the same benefits whether the level is high or low. As long as you can feel the muscle twitching and contracting, that is good enough to benefit from the therapy.


Dolphin Neurostim

Here at Oviedo Chiropractic, we do have an additional treatment option that is akin to E-Stim: the Dolphin Neurostim.

Whereas traditional E-Stim therapy uses electrode pads roughly 1 sq. inch in size, the Dolphin is a device that allows for more targeted healing. Strong electrical waves are applied to focused areas of the body—such as acupuncture and trigger points—to trigger the release of endorphins.

This type of treatment is clinically proven to reduce pain and inflammation dramatically.

Therapist using electric acupuncture device on patient's hand

The electrical waves are much stronger than traditional E-Stim therapy; as a result, it might feel a bit stronger as well. Patients have reported everything from “felt nothing at all” to “mild pain.” If you can tolerate the small needles from acupuncture, the Dolphin should feel similar.

As always, please let us know if you’re uncomfortable in any way during treatment. Our goal is pain relief, not pain induction.

The Dolphin is great for:


How Much Does E-Stim Therapy Cost?

Fortunately for you, Oviedo Chiropractic offers E-Stim therapy as a part of your regular adjustments. We feel that the two coupled together are what help the most with pain relief. As always, you are not obligated to do this treatment, but depending on your source of pain, we typically recommend trying it.

Because the Dolphin device is more targeted, it takes additional training and education to be able to administer this treatment. At the moment, only one of our massage therapists is certified to work with the Dolphin Neurostim. If you would like this treatment, schedule a medical massage with Digna.



Whether you already knew what E-Stim was or were looking for answers, we hope this information has helped.

E-Stim can sound unnerving, but it is really just an extension of chiropractic adjustments meant to alleviate pain. It can improve your range of motion, increase blood flow, and reduce pain and inflammation in your body.

This ancient, non-invasive therapy has long been regarded as safe and effective. Contact us today to book your appointment so we can get you on the fast track for pain relief and a better quality of life.

For some, chiropractic offers relief from pain. For others, it's about feeling and looking good. Call today and see what chiropractic can do for you!

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Oviedo Chiropractic

2871 Clayton Crossing Way Suite 1073
Oviedo, FL 32765
(407) 542-1614
(407) 542-1615*

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