A new therapy which utilizes an electrified needle gives patients a shot at pain relief, without medication.
James Edwards makes a living as a mason contractor, a job that's often a blue print for pain.
"I have lower leg pain, real numbness down the back of my leg, lower back pain, middle back pain and left-neck shoulder pain," Edwards explained.
But relief comes in just a push of a button.
The button triggers carefully planned needle sticks in his muscles. The treatment is called E-TOIMS.
"It's an acronym for Electrical Twitch-Obtaining Intramuscular Stimulation," Dr. Jennifer Chu said.
Chu developed the therapy at the University of Pennsylvania.
"What it is is that I use a little electric current to jumpstart a nerve so that the nerve and the muscle will start talking," Chu explained.
Pain usually occurs when a nerve injury causes the surrounding muscles to tighten and squeeze the nerve. The electrical current in the needle makes the muscle twitch and eventually loosen its grip.
"This exercise motion helps the blood to go back to the nerve, go back to the muscle, and both of them get a chance to heal," Chu said.
E-TOIMS is an improved version of Chu's A-TOIMS.
The "A" in A-TOIMS stands for "automated". This therapy uses mechanical stimulation, not an electrical current.
"The new procedure is so much faster. You get twice the amount of treatment with the new procedure. The pain is like almost none compared to the old one," Edwards said.
And finding that instant pain relief is immeasurable.
Chu says the quicker you address the pain from an injury the better. If you wait, the muscles can become too tight making the necessary twitching almost impossible.
For more information on the therapy log on to Painfree-International.