Electric muscle stimulation is used for two main reasons; either to decrease pain, or to cause a muscle to contract.
When electric stimulation is used to decrease pain, the effect of the current is to encourage the body’s natural pain-controlling mechanisms by either blocking a pain nerve’s signal or by releasing opiates (endorphins, similar to those in “runner’s high”.)
If your clinician thinks it is appropriate for your condition, a muscle contraction may be caused by the electric muscle stimulation. This can range from a mild twitching sensation to a strong contraction.
The treatment you will be receiving may feel unusual at first, but should never feel painful or very uncomfortable. Many patients describe the sensation as tingling, like when your foot falls asleep. Your clinician will ask if the treatment is tolerable; if you are not comfortable, let them know immediately.