Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Electrical stimulation


  • Promotes wound healing by inducing a physiological response in the tissue.
  • ES treatment may result in minor skin irritation under the electrode, which usually resolves spontaneously within 24–72 hours.
  • ES should not be used in people with certain medical conditions, including osteomyelitis or local cancer, or in people with implanted electronic devices or who have a blood clot in their leg.
  • ES should also not be applied over the pregnant uterus, wound dressings containing metallic or ionic components, or certain body locations containing excitable tissue (e.g., perineum, anterior neck).


Important Considerations

  • A skilled and knowledgeable health-care professional should assess the person before and after treatment.
  • Health-care professionals must possess the necessary knowledge, judgment, and skills in order to understand the application and potential complications of ES, and be able to solve any problems that may arise during or after treatment.
  • Health-care professionals are responsible for determining whether ES is suitable, and for prescribing the exact type and course of treatment.
  • Health-care professionals should also identify specific dressing protocols for the application of ES (i.e., indicated and contraindicated dressings).
Clinical Management
Assessment and Management of Pressure Injuries for the Interprofessional Team, Third Edition
Point of Care Resources