Tissue Repair

Evidence Of Microcurrent Therapy's Effectiveness In Tissue Repair

A recent review of the published literature identified n=11 studies that were of sufficient quality to merit inclusion (7x RCTs; 2x experimental studies, not controlled; 1x case series and 1x comparative study) [1-11]. A total of 379 patients were involved in these trials with 66% being exposed to Microcurrent Therapy.

Microcurrent Therapy was deemed to be effective in 10 of the 11 publications (91%), employing 96% of all trial participants (n=363). The ineffective trial was reference 6, Ho et al,. (2007). The clinical conditions treated in these 10 studies included, 2x tennis elbow; 2x total knee arthroplasty (post-operative); achilles tendinopathy; groin strain; head/neck fibrosis; inflammation (lab-induced); plantar fasciitis and temporomandibular disorder.

Overall, in relation to clinical healing/repair issues, there is more supportive published evidence than evidence suggesting an ineffective treatment. Adverse events/effects reporting identifies no significant issues or risks. On balance, Microcurrent based therapy has supportive evidence of effectiveness across a wide range of clinical injury and repair presentations. The ‘stimulation' parameters from the effective studies were identified in a dose/response analysis and fell into what is now considered to be an effective range.

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1. Poltawski L, Johnson M, Watson T. Microcurrent therapy in the management of chronic tennis elbow: pilot studies to optimize parameters. Physiother Res Int. 2012;17(3):157-66.
2. Ammar TA. Microcurrent electrical nerve stimulation in tennis elbow. Bulletin of Faculty of Physical Therapy. 2011;16(2):9-15.
3. Chapman-Jones D, Hill D. Novel Microcurrent Treatment is More Effective than Conventional Therapy for Chronic Achilles Tendinopathy: Randomised comparative trial. Physiotherapy. 2002;88(8):471-80.
4. Cho M, Park R, Park S, Cho Y, Cheng G. The Effect of Microcurrent-Inducing Shoes on Fatigue and Pain in Middle-Aged People with Plantar Fascitis. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2007;19(2):165-70.
5. El-Husseini T, El-Kawy S, Shalaby H, El-Sebai M. Microcurrent skin patches for postoperative pain control in total knee arthroplasty: a pilot study. International Orthopaedics. 2007;31(2):229-33.
6. Ho LOL, Kwong WL, Cheing GLY. Effectiveness of microcurrent therapy in the management of lateral epicondylitis: a pilot study. Hong Kong Physiotherapy Journal. 2007;25:14-20.
7. Kogawa EM, Kato MT, Santos CN, Conti PC. Evaluation of the efficacy of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and the microelectric neurostimulation (MENS) in the treatment of myogenic temporomandibular disorders: a randomized clinical trial. J Appl Oral Sci. 2005;13(3):280-5.
8. Lee JW, Yoon SW, Kim TH, Park SJ. The effects of microcurrents on inflammatory reaction induced by ultraviolet irradiation. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2011;23(4):693-6.
9. Lennox AJ, Shafer JP, Hatcher M, Beil J, Funder SJ. Pilot study of impedance-controlled microcurrent therapy for managing radiation-induced fibrosis in head-and-neck cancer patients. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2002;54(1):23-34.
10. Rockstroh G, Schleicher W, Krummenauer F. Effectiveness of microcurrent therapy as a constituent of post-hospital rehabilitative treatment in patients after total knee alloarthroplasty - a randomized clinical trial. Rehabilitation (Stuttg). 2010;49(3):173-9.
11. Yuill EA, Pajaczkowski JA, Howitt SD. Conservative care of sports hernias within soccer players: a case series. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2012;16(4):540-8.