Fitness Over Forty, a weekly series of video presentations targeting the increasing "over forty" population in East Texas, addresses health and fitness issues that are specific to men and women ages 25 to 54 and older... more »


Dr. David Di PaoloDr. David Di Paolo, radiologist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler and nationally certified fitness trainer, hosts the series featuring UT Health Science Center medical professionals who inform viewers about the benefits of a healthy diet and active lifestyle... more »

Electrostimulation for Knee Pain

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Additional Resources

Electrostimulation for Knee Pain - Tuesday, March 28, 2006Osteoarthritis is the common "wear-and-tear" form of arthritis. It is more frequent with advancing age and affects especially the weight-bearing joints of the body, such as the knees and the hips, as well as the hands. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint, however. Other factors that can add to the development of this condition, which is also known as degenerative joint disease, include being overweight, having previous injury to the joint, and having stresses on the joints from certain occupations and athletic activities.

Degenerative joint disease begins as a wearing away of cartilage or damage of the cartilage, which is the cushiony substance which coats the surface of the bones. With loss of this shock absorber, bones on either side of the joint may start to rub together. Bone spurs can form. Initially, someone with early stage osteoarthritis may feel minor aches and pains. With time, the pain can become more severe and more constant. Persons with osteoarthritis often notice stiffness of the joint after getting out of bed in the morning, or after sitting for a long period of time, and there may be swelling or tenderness in one or more joints. A crunching sensation in a joint can also be a symptom of degenerative joint disease.

For more about osteoarthritis, please see the following links:

Depending on the particular patient and the severity of symptoms related to arthritis, there are a variety of treatment options that may be tried. These include non-pharmacological treatments such as exercise, muscle strengthening, and local heat administration. For minor arthritis pain, non-prescription pain relievers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen may be helpful. There are also prescription anti-inflammatory drugs available. Injections of pain relieving medication into the knee joint can be utilized if symptoms are not well controlled by other means. In advanced stages of arthritis, where there is significant pain and bone on bone contact with substantial loss of cartilage, surgical total knee replacement can be done.

Electrostimulation can be used as a non-drug, non-invasive treatment for the management of pain and symptoms due to osteoarthritis of the knee. It has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for marketing in the United States for use as an adjunctive therapy and reducing level of pain and other symptoms associated with degenerative joint disease of the knee. This device works by delivering a specific electrical signal to the knee. A couple of soft pads are applied to the front surface of the knee and upper thigh and a coupling gel is administered to transmit the signal. The current is adjustable and when appropriately set, patients do not feel the electrical stimulation while the unit is applied. With this system, many patients, who have used the unit for more than 6 or more hours a day, have noticed initial improvement within 2-3 weeks of treatment and additional improvement after a month of therapy.

Read more about electrostimulation devices: For more about research that has been done with electrostimulation, see:

NOTICE: Protected health information is subject to electronic disclosure.