Microcurrent is an electrical treatment tool that uses a low amperage current to penetrate through the skin and into the underlying tissues. It feels and functions differently than a TENS unit which many people are familiar with. The microcurrent machine is most often attached to the body with adhesive electrodes but can also be clamped to a conductive material that touches the body. This treatment is low risk, not invasive, and causes no pain. The sensation it produces is relatively subtle, and may feel like a light tingling or prickly feeling.
The microcurrent works by changing a cell’s signaling. The electrical frequency actually changes the cell membrane receptors back to a normal, healthy state. Basically, damaged or abnormal cells start to recover. Tissues (skin, muscle, tendons, etc.) can remold and transform faster. This helps to speed up healing from injury and decrease pain. Microcurrent has also been shown to increase oxygenation of cells, improve immune function, and increase protein synthesis.
Frequency-specific microcurrent has been used to treat a multitude of conditions and injuries. These include:
Sprain and strains
Chronic and acute injuries
Muscle soreness from intense workouts or sport
Inflammation reduction (particularly when applied shortly after injury)
Scar tissue reduction
Back and neck pain
Skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and burns
Gastrointestinal conditions such as IBS, constipation, and Crohn’s disease
NFL player Terrell Owens is one example of the extraordinary benefits that can come from frequency specific microcurrent treatment. In 2004 he had a complex ankle surgery. Surgeons thought it would take him 13-18 weeks to recover. He started microcurrent treatment the day of the surgery and had treatment daily thereafter. Shockingly, Terrell Owens was able to play in the Superbowl just 6 weeks after surgery!
The world of medicine loves research studies. Evidence-based practice is the best practice. One study by chiropractor and researcher Carolyn McMakin proved there is a decrease in inflammation with microcurrent treatment. She tested blood samples of patients before and after treatment. She observed significant change in the level of cytokines, which are small proteins that drive inflammation. Less cytokines means less inflammation! She also saw an increase in serotonin levels which indicates decreased pain. More research studies are needed to further quantify the outcomes of frequency specific microcurrent treatment. However, patient experience cannot be ignored and there are many tales of success with this treatment.
"I absolutely loved using the micro current unit. After a fall and injuring my foot I used the unit 2-3 times a day for a number of days following my first visit to Performance Rehab Associates. The staff showed me how to use the unit while in the office and it was extremely easy to set up myself at home. Using the unit led to immediate results after each session — swelling went down in my foot and ankle and I had immediate increased mobility. It wasn’t painful in any way and I loved being ‘forced’ to sit still and chill for a bit while the machine did it’s thing. Thrilled that I had access to it through PRA and would recommend to anyone!" - Elisabeth C.