Electroacupuncture (EA) involves inserting acupuncture needles and then applying a small pulsing electric current via clips that are attached to the needles. It uses the same technology used by TENS machines. The frequency and intensity can be adjusted. Studies show low intensities have an effect on Aβ nerve fibres. Higher currents can help with pain relief in Aδ- and C nerve fibres. In traditional acupuncture the needles are manipulated by the therapist at regular intervals to increase the effects of acupuncture. Most dogs will not tolerate this tweaking of needles. Electroacupuncture is a way of simulating this manipulating of needles and some (but not all) dogs will accept this treatment. Some studies show more benefit with electroacupuncture when compared with traditional acupuncture.
We use the same points for electroacupuncture as is used in traditional acupuncture. Most treatments last for 15-30 minutes.
Electroacupuncture should be considered in the following conditions. (click on condition for more information).
Some of the studies which look at the benefits of electroacupuncture are outlined below:
Clinical Effect of Additional Electroacupuncture on Thoracolumbar Intervertebral Disc Herniation in 80 Paraplegic Dogs Hyun-Jung Han et al
Evaluation of electroacupuncture treatment for thoracolumbar intervertebral disk disease in dogs. Hayashi AM et al
Electro-Acupuncture is Beneficial for Knee Osteoarthritis: The Evidence from Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials Na Chen et al
Efficacy of electrical nerve stimulation for chronic musculoskeletal pain: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Michael Johnson et al