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Electric muscle stimulation is a PAINLESS, actually quite comfortable, treatment technique which basically feels like the common muscle twitch we have all experienced at some point. This repetitive muscle twitching ultimately relaxes the muscles to result in a better spinal adjustment. The added benefit to this is the release of endorphins and enkephalins to the site of injury. These chemicals are your body's natural pain killers.
The majority of patients with musculoskeletal conditions suffer from some sort of muscle tightness or pain. There can be many different reasons for this occurrance but we will explain the two most common:
Typically, muscle tightness is the result of a bone in your spine being slightly out of position (termed a subluxation). Your complex nervous system alerts your brain of this occurrance, so to be on the safe side your brain sends messages to the muscles surrounding that bone to tighten up and hold that bone from slipping further out of position. You can think of this as a natural protective mechanism that occurs in the body.
Another scenerio involves stress on the muscles. However, stress does not only involve emotional stress. It involves stress induced from changes in blood chemistry such as monthly hormonal changes and mechanical stress such as excessive force placed on a muscle when lifting a heavy object. These stresses all act on muscular tissue in their own way but they all typically result in tight muscles. You may have heard people say, "I carry my stress in my shoulders and neck." When muscles get tight, they place abnormal demands on the joints they influence, which may in itself pull a bone out of position for optimal function causing the subluxation.
In either scenario, in order to properly treat the subluxations, we must treat the muscular component as well or we may never get the result we want if only the subluxation was treated with adjustments alone.