Workers' Comp

Specialty Solutions Spotlight: Electrical Stimulation Devices in Workers’ Comp Recovery

February 14, 2024

Christopher Rogalsky

Manager, Operations, Apricus, an Enlyte company

Can electrical stimulation devices help relieve pain after a work-related injury?

Workers’ compensation injuries come in all shapes and sizes. They can range from minor to severe and can affect various parts of the body. One common denominator when individuals experience a work-related injury is pain.

Electrical stimulation devices (ESDs) are often used as an alternative to traditional pain medication and can be an effective option for managing pain and promoting healing without the negative side effects associated with narcotic and non-narcotic pain medication.

ESDs can be used for various medical conditions, including chronic pain, muscle weakness and nerve damage. Some of the common conditions treated with electrical stimulation therapy include:

  • Ligament sprains
  • Muscle strains
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis

One of the common electrical stimulation therapies prescribed in workers’ compensation is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). TENS is commonly used for the treatment of acute pain, typically after a surgical operation, in addition to chronic pain. TENS stimulates sensory nerves to block or change the perception of pain and generate endorphins. Electrical impulses are sent from a portable, battery-powered pulse generator using electrodes placed on the surface of the skin over the affected area. TENS is a non-invasive, inexpensive self-administered technique to help relieve pain with few side effects and no potential for overdose so patients can adjust the treatment as required.

At Apricus, we can customize a TENS program to cater to your needs. With discounted rates for each item, our bills for these units show the purchase or rental rate, the billed rate and savings. For example, if an individual received a prescription for a TENS unit, the bill would display the costs and savings.

Other commonly prescribed electrical stimulation therapies in workers’ compensation include microcurrent electrical nerve stimulators (MENS) and neuromuscular stimulation (NMS). MENS machines are frequently used for the symptomatic relief of chronic pain and as a complementary treatment for pain management after surgery. MENS utilizes a unique waveform that acts on the body’s naturally occurring electrical impulses to facilitate and repair injured soft tissues to facilitate healing and decrease pain.

Also known as therapeutic electrical stimulation, NMS devices are used to strengthen muscles weakened by disuse. By stimulating the nerves and alternately contracting and relaxing the muscles, NMS therapy is used to restore muscle function and strength, prevent muscle atrophy, increase blood circulation and reduce muscle spasms.

Minimally invasive options like electrical stimulation therapy can support accelerated recovery and provide relief from painful or uncomfortable symptoms after a work-related injury. Whether used in tandem with other rehabilitative therapies and medications or on their own, ESDs can help when other options fail.

This information is meant to serve as a general overview, and any specific questions should be fully reviewed with a health care professional or specialty service provider.

To make a referral for this service and others, call us today at 877.203.9899 or send an email to