Electric Muscle Stimulation

The high-frequency muscle stimulation, also called high tone, is a treatment method in the field of electrotherapy.

In contrast to classical electrodynamics therapy alternating electric fields in the frequency range from about 4 to 30 kHz are used in the high-frequency muscle stimulation. In addition, the current intensity and frequency are modulated simultaneously. As the main indications of the method back pain, degenerative joint diseases (in particular: knee osteoarthritis) are, diabetic neuropathy, migraine and headache, wound healing and treatment of edema indicated. The effectiveness of the method has not been established yet.

The high-frequency muscle stimulation has been patented by the German neurologist and psychiatrist Hans-Ulrich May. It was experimentally used in the treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy. In a pilot study of the German Diabetes Center Dusseldorf on a total of 41 subjects with type 1 and 2 diabetes, a positive effect of high-frequency muscle stimulation in the symptomatic treatment of the disease was suspected. It reported 16 of 20 subjects of a significant subjective improvement in symptoms after the high-frequency muscle stimulation. In the control group, which was treated with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), 7 of 21 subjects reported that the symptoms had decreased significantly, which is not statistically significant. However, the symptoms occurred in both treatments after a few days again, so that a permanent treatment appears necessary. In another clinical study, which was conducted at the University Hospital Heidelberg, reported 13 of 20 patients from a subjective improvement in symptoms. However, in this study, no control group was studied, which this study has little predictive value.

To relieve the symptoms permanently, should - according to the proponents of the method - the therapy be applied three times per week for 30 minutes. Otherwise, the symptoms would return. Despite not dargelegter effectiveness offer around 400 doctors nationwide, and five diabetological focus clinics, treatment. The cost of the high-frequency muscle stimulation are not covered by health insurance.

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