Therapeutic Electrical Stimulation (TES) is used to treat muscle weakness due to muscle wasting, known as disuse atrophy. Immobilization and inactivity cause muscles to get smaller, or atrophy. Atrophy affects muscle composition, decreasing the muscle’s ability to produce tension.
TES is a low-intensity current which does not produce a muscle contraction or cause pain. Because it is sub-threshold, there is no injury and there is no fatigue associated with the treatment. It is used for 8-12 hours during sleep to enhance the flow of blood to the muscles. Studies have shown that muscle is grown and repaired at night during sleep. TES is based on the theory that growth hormone, a major hormone in the body, is secreted predominately at night (80-90%) in a single peak, approximately 2-3 hours after falling asleep. By applying the current during sleep, we are assisting the body in growing muscle. The increase in muscle bulk is translated into function through strengthening and integration into daily activities used in conjunction with the therapy program.
Boosting a child’s muscle strength can be enough to help them achieve additional developmental milestones, or help them achieve a higher level of function for various skills such as mobility and self-care.
The therapists at The Therapy Village who administer this technique are TES certified. For more information, please see www.tascnetwork.com.