Current Issue - November/December 2008 - Vol 11 Issue 6


  1. 2008;11;891-907Anti-inflammatory Effects of Electronic Signal Treatment
    Focused Review
    Robert H. Odell, Jr., MD, PhD, and Richard E. Sorgnard, PhD.

Inflammation often plays a key role in the perpetuation of pain. Chronic inflammatory conditions (e.g. osteoarthritis, immune system dysfunction, micro-circulatory disease, painful neuritis, and even heart disease) have increased as baby boomers age. Medicine’s current anti-inflammatory choices are NSAIDs and steroids; the value in promoting cure and side effect risks of these medications are unclear and controversial, especially considering individual patient variations.

Electricity has continuously been a powerful tool in medicine for thousands of years. All medical professionals are, to some degree, aware of electrotherapy; those who directly use electricity for treatment know of its anti-inflammatory effects. Electronic signal treatment (EST), as an extension of presently available technology, may reasonably have even more anti-inflammatory effects.

EST is a digitally produced alternating current sinusoidal electronic signal with associated harmonics to produce theoretically reasonable and/or scientifically documented physiological effects when applied to the human body. These signals are produced by advanced electronics not possible even 10 to 15 years ago.

The potential long-lasting anti-inflammatory effects of some electrical currents are based on basic physical and biochemical facts listed in the text below, namely that of stimulating and signaling effective and long-lasting anti-inflammatory effects in nerve and muscle cells. The safety of electrotherapeutic treatments in general and EST in particular has been established through extensive clinical use.

The principles of physics have been largely de-emphasized in modern medicine in favor of chemistry. These electrical treatments, a familiar application of physics, thus represent powerful and appropriate elements of physicians’ pain care armamentaria in the clinic and possibly for prescription for use at home to improve overall patient care and maintenance of quality of life via low-risk and potentially curative treatments.