How The Body Uses Microcurrents In Relation To Injury, Repair And Pain
There is a normal level of bioelectric activity in all tissues [1, 2, 5, 7]. Following injury/disease, there is a disturbance of this normal level [1, 3, 8-12]. The departure from the norm acts as one of the stimuli for the body to respond to the injury/disease and mounts an appropriate response . If the body fails to generate this stimulus (sometimes referred to as having a ‘flat battery'), then the tissue response to injury will be insufficient for optional repair/recovery .
The delivery of a microcurrent from outside the body acts as an energy source to enhance or to activate the normal repair response [6, 13-16]. The microcurrents themselves are not doing the healing - they are however stimulating the normal tissue response which is, for whatever reason, stalled or underperforming [4, 17]. It is proposed that this will not only enhance the repair sequence, but will indirectly diminish the pain experienced by the individual . It is further proposed that the use of Microcurrent Therapy has a direct (overt) effect on pain perception. This is active without nerve stimulation (as would be the mechanism with other interventions such as TENS for example) [18-22].
In addition to the ability of Microcurrent Therapy to enhance the natural endogenous bioelectric activity, there is evidence that it increases the amount of ATP available in the stimulated tissue, further enhancing the energy available to the cells involved in repair [4, 23-25]. The bioelectric and ATP pathways are almost certainly not mutually exclusive, and most likely work in tandem and are co-supportive . In order for Microcurrent Therapy to be effective, the logic and the evidence would support relatively long applications at low levels of stimulation. The clinical evidence appears to demonstrate stronger results with increasing hours of application - making this an application that suits the home (non-clinic) environment .