Microcurrent for Athletes:
Prevention, Maintenance, and Recovery

Injured. This simple word can have a major impact on professional and recreational athletes. Luckily, as an athlete you no longer have to be as susceptible to injuries and long downtime: microcurrent therapy is an effective option for injury prevention, physical maintenance, and shortening recovery.

The use of microcurrent can easily be incorporated into your daily routine, the handheld devices are fast, effective, and highly portable – keep it in your sports bag to use whenever you have a moment. Additionally, you can receive microcurrent therapy sessions from professional practitioners.

There is a wide range of microcurrent therapy devices available on the market, which all implement the low-level electrical stimulation but have varying features and specifications. Smart devices that have biofeedback are ideal for athletes who need quick recovery and optimal maintenance. With the biofeedback microcurrent devices, it is easier than ever to receive the well-known benefits of microcurrent therapy at home, on the go, or between workouts. There are also other types of microcurrent devices are available.

The exact benefits and treatment protocols vary per device used and condition being treated, but the following provides an overview of how to use microcurrent to improve your competitive career and physical health in the following categories of prevention, maintenance, and recovery.

Prevention

Some injuries are unavoidable, but by regularly treating your body with microcurrent you can strengthen your tissue and improve your health so that your body is less likely to weaken or become injured. Studies have shown that microcurrent increases ATP production up to 500%, along with additional benefits.

Treatment: There are two primary categories for prevention, the first is to treat before and after a competition, event, or intense workout. By treating beforehand it prepares your body for the exertion and afterwards it can immediately catch issues and relieve minor strains.

The second category is to treat areas of concern, which can include joints that experience excess stress, areas of discomfort, a previously injured area, or something pre-disposed to injury. You should regularly treat any areas of concern, and depending on the issue this could mean once a day to a couple times per week. The frequency of the treatments is adjustable, but note that the more often you apply microcurrent to your body the more benefits will accrue.

Preventative sessions can be as little as 5 minutes, or longer if an area has more significant strain or discomfort. If a part of your body undergoes repetitive stress or strain (such as a pitcher’s arm), if you are already experiencing discomfort, or if you have a history of injury – those are good times to treat preventatively with microcurrent.

Treatments shown using pad electrodes on knees and wrists.

Maintenance

Microcurrent therapy can also be used for general maintenance and upkeep of your body. Just as your car receives regular maintenance, so should your body. Even if you feel great, your muscles, ligaments, and tendons experience stress during intense physical exertion. By treating before an injury or discomfort occurs you’ll help prepare your body for activity.

The recommended maintenance program varies depending on the device being used, but with the smart biofeedback units it takes as little as 5 to 10 minute (or longer if desired) sessions, two to three times per week. Based on your personal schedule, you can fit it in whenever you have a moment.

Recovery

When you’re a professional or recreational athlete, it is inevitable that at some point in your competitive career you will be injured. Injuries affect all kinds of athletes, such as baseball players, cyclists, dancers, equestrians, golfers, skiers, and football players. No matter the severity, it is always disappointing and inconvenient to be laid up for any length of time. Whether from a minor ankle sprain to a torn rotator cuff, microcurrent therapy devices are easy-to-use and effective tools to have at your disposal to decrease your recovery time.

Quick Recovery: For the best recovery, it is recommended to use microcurrent in conjunction with traditional treatment methods. When injured, treatment sessions are more aggressive, meaning you should treat more frequently and for longer duration. It is important to note that microcurrent does not have any known negative side effects, view Contraindications. However, if a person does not drink enough water they may experience mild headaches or flu-like symptoms. Also, when in discomfort you can continue treatments longer than the necessary duration to provide soothing relief, because extra amounts of microcurrent will not cause harm.

Note: You should work with your practitioner to decide what treatments schedule should be started based on the specific condition.

These images show just a small sampling of the microcurrent treatment options available.

Professional Athletes & Microcurrent

Microcurrent therapy has been used to treat professional and college athletes get back in the game after an injury, since as early as the 1980s. In 1986, the University of Texas Women’s Track and Field team became the first major university athletic program to use microcurrent stimulation therapy. That same year, in preparation for the 1986 season the NFL Player’s Association began studying the use of microcurrent therapy for treating and rehabilitating athletes who had traumatic and chronic injuries.

Microcurrent has been used since the 1980s to help professional athletes get back in the game after an injury. Herbie Berger, L.Ac. has treated NFL, NBA, MLB professional sports teams, as well as Olympic athletes and world-class performers. Well-known athletes such as Terrell Owens (NFL wide receiver), Bill Romanowski (NFL linebacker), and Gary Carter (professional baseball player) have been aided by microcurrent in their professional careers. One of the most famous athletes to be successfully treated with microcurrent is Lance Armstrong and his US Postal Tour de France cycling team, who were treated by Lance Armstrong’s chiropractor, Jeff Spencer, D.C.

Note: Most of these athletes were treated by practitioners, not using the at-home treatments mentioned in this article. However, the benefits are similar because they are all implementing microcurrent therapy, simply using different methods.

About Microcurrent: Benefits & Applications

Microcurrent therapy has many benefits and is an excellent foundation for other types of therapies. It provides pain relief and helps speed up recovery time from injuries and after surgery, as well as being beneficial for general maintenance and relieving sore or achy muscles. There are a wide range of conditions that can benefit from microcurrent, click here to learn more about common injuries that are aided by microcurrent.

Studies show that the following are some of the benefits of treating with microcurrent:

  • Improved circulation and dilated blood vessels
  • Increased amount of red blood cells.
  • Tendon and ligament recovery time is reduced by 50%.
  • Nerve repair and healing without scar tissue.
  • Stimulating lymph circulation.
  • Elimination of wastes and toxins.
  • Increased ATP* production up to 500% (ATP=adenosine triphosphate)
  • Increased excretion of fluids through the kidneys.
  • Lengthening the connective tissue, reducing or preventing formation of adhesion and reducing the danger of fibrosis.
  • Improved circulation and nutrition to joints.
  • Pain relief.
  • Relaxing, i.e. help alleviate anxiety.

*ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) represents cells’ energy. Stored ATP provides the energy needed for essentially all physiological mechanisms that require energy.

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