Electromuscle Stimulation & Shockwave Therapy

Electrotherapy is a treatment method that may reduce acute and chronic pain as well as increase muscle strength and endurance.  It may be especially helpful immediately following an injury.  Electrotherapy involves stimulating nerve fibres with small electrical currents.  The electrical stimulation may promote the release of natural pain killing chemicals, called endorphins, or block pain signals to the brain.
Most types of electrotherapy methods deliver the electrical stimulation through pads that are adhered to the skin.  Batteries or an electrical outlet powers the devices.  Electrotherapy is usually used in the early stages of pain management treatment.  It may be combined with heat therapy, cold therapy, and manipulations or exercise to optimize the treatment benefit. The most commonly used types of Electrotherapy used by Geelong Performance physiotherapy are Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) & Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS)
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)This is also known as Shockwave Therapy and represents a powerful alternative for the treatment of ‘therapy resistant tendinopathies’. It involves the application of a high energy acoustic wave to the painful location.

ESWT was originally developed based on a treatment for kidney stones called lithotripsy. It is a non invasive treatment that involves delivering high frequency shock-waves to an injured tendon. These shock-waves are delivered through the skin, and has been shown to stimulate healing in chronic tendon injuries that have failed to heal spontaneously and have not responded to other treatments. About 60-80% of patients have a significant improvement in their tendon pain after a course of shock-wave therapy.


Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS)Electrical current applied to muscle improves its activation, especially when injury or surgery has caused inhibition due to pain, in turn enhancing muscle strengthening, blood flow and assists with reducing swelling.

EMS may help you to facilitate the strengthening of weak muscles. There are several theories on how EMS may assist muscle strengthening.

One potential reason is that when you maximally contract a muscle, at best, only 30% of all your muscle fibres are in a state of contraction. The remaining 70% are dormant and awaiting recruitment when the contracting fibres fatigue. With EMS you can potentially electrically stimulate these resting muscle fibres to improve their strength. Clinically, EMS appears to be more effective when the muscles are very weak and you have difficulty performing normal anti-gravity exercises.

Another reason that EMS potentially works is via an improvement in the speed of motor unit activation. Explained simply, it takes approximately 10000 repetitions for your brain to learn how to quickly send a message to your muscles via the quickest nerve pathways. This contraction pattern becomes your “memory engram”. The more frequent your muscle is recruited the better your body becomes at finding the quickest way to recruit that muscle. EMS can potentially provide you with repeated contractions to accelerate this learning process.

What we can treat

Back Pain

Back pain is a common problem that effects most people at some point in their life.

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Tendons can cause significant pain for a number of reasons

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Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint.

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Subacromial Impingement

Subacromial Impingement  is a painful condition of the shoulder with a number of causes.

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Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is a common problem with a number of different causes.

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Knee Meniscal Injury

A meniscal Injury of the knee can be treated in many ways.

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Arrange an appointment today to discuss further

We work in various locations around Geelong. Visit our locations page to find out what days we are near you.

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