ARLINGTON, Va. — Electrotherapy treatment is an option for Soldiers assigned to the Fort Belvoir Soldier Recovery Unit in Virginia and cadre and staff are training to become more knowledgeable about it.
Electrotherapy is the use of electric pulses used to therapeutically heal the body and works to disrupt the pain signal. Many may know of electrotherapy by the name transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) which is electrotherapy used on muscles like the back. Philip Rackham, adaptive reconditioning support specialist at the Fort Belvoir SRU, said that electrotherapy is a treatment for pain management, insomnia, anxiety and depression. During training in April, cadre and staff learned about its use and benefits.
Cathy Powers, certified occupational therapy assistant at the Fort Belvoir SRU, said that Soldiers would normally use the treatment every other day but cautioned that pregnancy or having a pacemaker are contra-indicators.
“I love the results, we have had a few Soldiers that don’t have success but we have more that do,” she said.
Maj. Andre Liem, Fort Belvoir SRU battalion surgeon, said it empowers and provides a treatment option that Soldiers can complete on their own time. He said that he likes to use it in addition to other treatments for pain.
The training was held because anyone can identify a person who may benefit from it, not just medical personnel, Liem said.
“And the more that the cadre are comfortable and familiar with some of the treatments that the Soldiers do, the better understanding they have of what we can do to help the Soldiers at the lowest level,” he said.
This was just one of the SRU’s training opportunities. Liem said that they recently held one about suicide. Classes are also available. The SRU staff covers topics like meditation and wellness. The Behavioral Health team is also developing one about personality disorders.