Neuromuscular electrical stimulation uses electrical currents to stimulate muscle contractions. It is often used for animals that are recovering from surgery or an injury. At Pawsitive Strides Veterinary Rehabilitation and Therapy in Des Moines, we offer neuromuscular electrical stimulation along with a wide variety of other treatment methods to get your furry friend on their paws again.
What is Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation?
Neuromuscular electrical stimulation, also known as NMES, uses low-level electrical impulses. There are two basic categories of NMES. Different frequencies and placements are used, depending on the application. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS, uses low-level stimulation to target the nerves. The stimulation blocks the nerve's pain signals and triggers the body's endorphins.
NMES is also used for muscle stimulation. It sends electrical impulses to the muscles, causing them to contract. This essentially exercises the muscle without requiring your pet to perform certain movements that could be painful. It relieves pain and stiffness, strengthens muscles that are weakened due to wasting, and improves the animal’s range of motion.
What to Expect from an NMES Procedure
NMES is safe with a low risk of side effects. It is a painless and relatively quick procedure. A special gel is applied to the skin and adhesive pads with electrodes are applied around the affected area. The electrodes are connected to a machine, typically a handheld device that controls the electrical current.
Once the device is turned on, it sends short bursts of electricity to the muscles. The intensity and duration of pulses change throughout the procedure. This causes the muscles to contract and relax, effectively exercising them without movement from the animal. Once the procedure is completed, the electrodes are removed and the gel is wiped off with a cloth. Your pet can go home immediately after the procedure.
NMES and Other Therapies
Our veterinarians will incorporate several therapies into your pet's treatment plan. These may include heat and cold therapy, surgery, therapeutic massage, and medication. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation can be used with these therapies to help your dog heal as quickly as possible.
NMES is a unique treatment because it helps your pet build muscle and prevents stiffness. Other treatments like laser therapy and acupuncture can help relieve pain and encourage healing, but they will not help your pet gain strength. NMES is particularly recommended if your pet cannot use a limb for a period of time, usually as the result of a broken bone or surgery.
Contact Us for NMES in Des Moines, IA
At Pawsitive Strides Veterinary Rehabilitation and Therapy, we believe every pet deserves to live its best life. Recovering from an injury can be difficult for pets without the proper rehabilitation. We begin with an evaluation and customized treatment plan to achieve the best results. Call our team at Pawsitive Strides Veterinary Rehabilitation and Therapy today at (515) 575-9655 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.