Using Electrical Muscle Stimulation For Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
If you have diabetic peripheral neuropathy your doctor may have recommended that you consider using electrical muscle stimulation for diabetic peripheral neuropathy to help reduce pain and to condition the muscles of your feet and legs. This process helps to block the pain signals to your brain while conditioning your muscles. It will also increase your circulation and pull toxins away from your feet.
Researchers Agree that using Electrical Muscle Stimulation, also known as Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation, (EMS, NMES) and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy can provide relief. 1, 2, 3
– A 2010 report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology found that TENS is “probably effective” for treating diabetic neuropathy, and recommended TENS for consideration in treating DPN (based on a review of 2 prospective matched cohort studies meeting inclusion criteria).4
– A 2010 review article in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine found that research evidence is consistent and sufficient enough regarding the benefits of TENS to recommend it for use in treating DPN (based on 3 large studies and 1 small study meeting inclusion criteria).5
– A 2010 meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found a significant decrease in mean pain scores at 4 and 6 weeks of treatment, and significant subjective improvement in overall neuropathic pain symptoms at 12 weeks. No TENS-related adverse effects were reported, leading to the conclusion that TENS may be an effective and safe treatment for DPN (based on 3 randomized controlled trials involving 78 patients that met inclusion criteria).6
Choosing Equipment for Electrical Muscle Stimulation To Relieve Pain
Usually Electrical Muscle Stimulation For Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy requires that you place the pads (electrodes) on the base of your feet (sole).
The Advanced Foot Energizer is designed so that the two large foot shaped pads on the machine act as the pads for your feet – incredibly easy to use compared to traditional TENS and EMS machines. In fact, with the Advanced Foot Energizer you may stimulate both the soles of your feet at the same time you can use two sets of body pads to stimulate your legs and thighs, providing you with six stimulation areas at the same time. The soles of your feet and the points on your body are being stimulated with the same programed frequency waves in unison, but you are able to adjust the intensity level of your soles and body pads separately. With diabetic peripheral neuropathy this is very important as the soles of your feet will generally have much less sensation than the body points that you may use.
The Advanced Foot Energizer is cleared for the following pain relieving and muscle performance modalities:
- Stimulate healthy muscles in order to improve and facilitate muscle performance
- Relieve tired, sore, and aching muscle pain associated with your legs and feet
- Stimulate healthy muscles around your body with included body pads
- Relieve pain around your body with included body pads
What we have seen is that people who are experiencing diabetic peripheral neuropathy will begin to feel the same tingling as others about ten to twenty minutes into a session when on a fairly high intensity setting. We have also seen that in some users having the body pads placed on the calves at the same time speeds the relief that they experience.
It is the easiest to use combination TENS and EMS machine available for your feet which is cleared for sale in the United States. We recommend that you visit with your doctor to see if using electrical stimulation is right for you.
I purchased the advanced foot energizer the end of August in an attempt to reduce neuropathy in the front portion of my feet; my toes felt like sticks and was beginning to effect my balance, I had mentioned this to my doctor but he did not have any recommendations. Within two days I noticed a big improvement in the flexibility of my toes, today my neuropathy is all but gone. I used it on a daily basis the first couple of months and periodically thereafter. Based on my experience I would highly recommend this product especially with the guarantee of satisfaction you have nothing to loose! Thank you for developing this product it has given me a much better outlook for the future. Sincerely! – Jim Maxton
Background Information On Using Electrical Muscle Stimulation for Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
1. Dubinsky RM, Miyasaki J. Efficacy of transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation in the treatment of pain in neurologic disorders (an evidence-based review): report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2010;74:173-176. – See more at: http://www.consultantlive.com/diabetes-type-2/tens-diabetic-peripheral-neuropathy-efficacy-and-drawbacks#sthash.CiUUrP16.dpuf
2. Pieber K, Herceg M, Paternostro-Sluga T. Electrotherapy for the treatment of painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy: a review. J Rehabil Med. 2010;42:289–295. – See more at: http://www.consultantlive.com/diabetes-type-2/tens-diabetic-peripheral-neuropathy-efficacy-and-drawbacks#sthash.CiUUrP16.dpuf
3. Jin DM, Yun X, Deng-Feng G, Tie-bin Y. Effect of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on symptomatic diabetic peripheral neuropathy: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2010;89:10-15.
The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy states the following about using Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation (TENS) for neuropathy:
Transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation (TENS) is a method of therapy that may be used to treat nerve pain. It works by inhibiting pain signals from reaching the brain. It is a drug-free therapy that works by placing very small electrical impulses on specific nerve paths. The electrical impulses are delivered to the nerves through electrodes that are placed on the skin. Although it doesn’t work for everyone or all types of pain, TENS may be prescribed in combination with other treatments, primarily to provide relief from acute forms of nerve pain. – The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy
Following is an overview of a study in 2009 regarding using external electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to help relieve the burning sensations and sleeping disturbances in patients with type 2 diabetes and with symptomatic neuropathy:
External muscle stimulation (EMS) of the thighs was previously shown to have beneficial effects in a pilot study on painful diabetic neuropathy. However, differential effects on specific symptoms of neuropathy as well as determinants of treatment response have not been described.
Ninety-two type 2 diabetes patients with different neuropathic symptoms were included in a prospective uncontrolled trial. Patients were treated twice a week for 4 weeks. Symptoms were graded on numeric scales at baseline, before the second and the eighth visit.
Seventy-three percent of the participants reported marked improvement of symptoms. Subjective treatment response was positively and independently associated with symptom intensity but independent of disease extent, metabolic factors, age, or gender. Total symptoms graded by patients on numerical scales decreased significantly after 4 weeks of treatment. Patients in the upper tertile of symptom intensity showed significant improvement of paresthesia, pain, numbness and most pronounced for burning sensations and sleeping disturbances.
In an uncontrolled setting, EMS seems to be an effective treatment for symptomatic neuropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes, especially in patients with strong symptoms.
External electric muscle stimulation improves burning sensations and sleeping disturbances in patients with type 2 diabetes and symptomatic neuropathy. – Pain Med. 2009 Mar;10(2):413-9. Humpert PM, Morcos M, Oikonomou D, Schaefer K, Hamann A, Bierhaus A, Schilling T, Nawroth PP.