Survey finds a majority of Americans seeking drug-free pain relief from injuries benefit from electrostimulation therapies
An overwhelming majority of Americans who have received electrostimulation therapy as a drug-free alternative to treat pain have become firm believers, according to new research.
A national survey of more than 1,000 consumers conducted by BewellConnect, a connected health company that is moving the industry to a new frontier of healthcare, found that approximately 60 percent of Americans have had to seek treatments for back pain, bad knees, and a host of other injuries. Upon receiving treatment, nearly half (47 percent) received some form of electrostimulation treatment – such as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) or Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) – to manage pain and recovery.
Perhaps the most surprising finding was that of those who received electrostimulation treatments, nearly 90 percent said the treatments were helpful in their recoveries.
A TENS wearable medical device is designed to relieve pain with pulses that stimulate skin and nerve strands, blocking pain signals from the brain. EMS works by activating muscles through a comfortable stimulation and is typically used for muscle rebuilding and repair.
While these devices have traditionally been in the domain of physical therapists and healthcare providers, the technology is now widely available to consumers for at-home use thanks to technological advances in portability. A new generation of electrostimulation devices is now giving users more freedom to move thanks to the built-in wireless communications and intelligences for use with smartphone apps.
Growing awareness of pain medication addiction may contribute to the technology's popularity, the survey found. When asked why they would consider purchasing an electrostimulation device, reducing the need for pain medications was the second most cited reason across all demographics (27 percent) and the number one reason among women (32 percent).
Similarly, affordability and the ability for consumers to practice self-care were major drivers of consumer adoption. Nearly 35 percent of respondents said that reducing visits to a healthcare provider would be their main motivation for acquiring a device.
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