Skip to content


Electroacupuncture, when properly used, works extremely well for certain musculoskeletal and pain issues. EA is used to activate inhibited muscles to increase strength and range of motion, or it can be used to prime a muscle to be rehabbed using exercise. The research demonstrates that at 2Hz it works best for pain and at 100 Hz works best for sclerotomal structures (i.e. joint, bone, skin, scars, cartilage). EA amplifies the effect of acupuncture by providing a non-noxious stimulus into the dorsal horn of the spinal cord which neuromodulates nociceptors and slows neurogenic inflammation. In my experience it works best when complimented with manual therapy (acupressure, cupping, gua sha).

Electroacupuncture mechanisms on inflammatory pain have been extensively studied. The modality inhibits both the sensory and the affective components of inflammatory pain, acting through peripheral, spinal, and supraspinal mechanisms with the involvement of a battery of bioactive molecules including opioids, N/OFQ, serotonin, norepinephrine, glutamate receptors and transporters, cytokines, and signal molecules.

According to research, it should not be used on patients with a pacemaker. It also should not be used strongly on the muscles of patients with chronic systemic illnesses such fibromyalgia as it will be irritating. However – it can be used on these patients to improve circulation to the extremities and reduce pain by stimulating the autonomic nervous system.

This is all to say that the application of EA enhances clinical results when it is understood and just like any therapy it shouldn’t be applied randomly. In my experience, when we apply it, it is helpful to the patient, and if it is not then likely something was missed in the history or the assessment. And as clinicians, the better we take a history and assessment – the easier it becomes to reach our clinical goals.

Below is a small sample of links to research on electroacupuncture:


Research Studies on Electroacupuncture:

Mechanisms of Electroacupuncture

How EA restores nerve function after nerve injury

How Electroacupuncture protects the myelin sheath and helps restore nerve function in peripheral nerve palsies

More on neural protective effects.






630-369-3237 Directions Contact/Schedule