By Tiffany Patterson, MOTR/L, CHT, Heather Lopez, OTR/L, CHT, Julia Guthart, OTR/L CHT
What is Microcurrent Point Stimulation?
MPS stands for Microcurrent Point Stimulation; it is a direct current electrical stimulation treatment for pain. It is a safe level of electrical current—the same naturally found in your body. A popular brand/model is Dolphin Neuro-stim. They named it Dolphin because the device has an Ohm reader that will beep or squeal when on the trigger spot. Someone thought it sounded like a Dolphin.
What Does Microcurrent Point Stimulation Do?
This electro-therapy can help regulate the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The ANS is made up of the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) which is the “fight or flight” response and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) which is the calming response. Stress factors can influence the body. They can be environmental, emotional, and physical. Prolonged periods of stress can lead to health issues, anxiety, and chronic pain.
When our bodies are in this overreactive state, the MPS can be used to help deregulate the sympathetic response by providing neuromodulation to a specific neurological site/sites in the body. The direct current releases endorphins (our body’s natural pain relievers), decreases muscle tone and helps to decrease pain. In this orthopedic practice, our focus is physical stress. Physical stress is caused by any trauma to the body whether it be surgical, non-surgical, and/or overuse injuries. All these injuries create scar tissue. Scar tissue can lead to chronic pain and chronic pain leads to loss of function, strength, and mobility.
Does Microcurrent Point Stimulation Treat Scars?
The quick answer is yes, MPS is used to treat scars. Scars can be thick, bumpy, red, tender to touch, tingling. When a scar crosses your wrist/forearm, hand and /or knee it can limit your optimal range of motion. The scar acts like a wad of chewing gum stuck to your hair; you cannot get a comb through it.
Another example, when tendons are pulling your fingers down into a fist, if scar tissue is in the way it can literally stop the finger from fully flexing. Scars cause dysfunction. What can you do to improve a scar? You can massage it which is often prescribed. Another option is pushing an electric beam through the tissue to help the collagen fibers of the scar re-align with the anatomy. Therefore, providing better glide and flow. MPS or Microcurrent Point stimulation provides optimal stimulation of current to and through the scar. We like to call it “zapping” the scar in layman’s terms.
Dolphin can help treat many issues by outpatient Physical or Occupational therapy. Treatment of conditions include:
- Back pain
- Knee pain
- Hip pain
- Inflamed joints
- Carpal tunnel
- Sports injuries
- Frozen shoulder
- Peripheral nerve entrapment
- Wound healing
- Tendon/ ligament repairs
- Lateral elbow pain
- Scars and Adhesions
Is MPS the Same as TENS?
The quick answer is that TENS usually has short term effects and MPS can have longer lasting effects.
TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a method of pain relief involving the use of a low voltage alternating (A/C) electrical current. It blocks or changes your perception of pain at a focused treatment area. These provide pain relief via the Gate control theory. The gate control theory of pain describes how non-painful sensations (delivered by TENS) can override and reduce painful sensations (injury). TENS devices can be helpful with pain reduction for:
- osteoarthritis (disease of the joints)
- fibromyalgia (aching pain in muscles, tendons, and joints)
- Tendinitis (inflammation or irritation of a tendon)
- bursitis (inflammation of the fluid-filled sac)
- low back pain
- chronic pelvic pain
- diabetic neuropathy
Dolphin has had remarkable success in the fight against chronic pain with longer-lasting effects. Therefore, complete or substantial relief (60-85%+) from pain often occurs within 1-3 applications but most patients will require 2-10 treatments for lasting outcomes. Those with some chronic conditions may require ongoing daily or bi-weekly applications.
Where Do You Go For Microcurrent Point Stimulation?
In conclusion, MPS can be used by physical or occupational therapists with specific training and certification on Dolphin Neuro-stim. In Jacksonville, The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute has therapists that are certified in MPS.
To schedule an appointment for physical therapy or occupational therapy at one of the 12 JOI Rehab Centers, please call 904-858-7045.
Finally, to find a Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Rehabilitation office for MPS treatment, give us a call or click the link below.