Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.



(named after L. Galvani), the therapeutic use of direct current of low intensity and voltage. The first attempts to use such a current for therapy were made at the beginning of the 19th century, but the systematic study of the physiological and therapeutic effects began in the second half of the century. Direct current of about 30 milliamperes (mA) and about 100 volts causes a redistribution of ions in tissues—that is, a change in their concentration, which is accompanied by complex physicochemical processes that alter the permeability of the cell membranes, enzyme activity, and metabolic rate.

Depending on the technique and dosage, galvanization raises or lowers tissue function, relieves pain, improves the peripheral blood circulation, and restores injured tissues, including nerves. By stimulating many nerve endings, the current causes a local and a more or less pronounced general reaction, and it stimulates the regulatory function of the nervous system. The current is supplied by a special apparatus. (At one time it was obtained from galvanic cells and batteries.) Current is usually supplied to the patient along wires through plate electrodes. A hydrophilic pad (flannel or special plastic) moistened with water is placed between the metal plate and the patient’s body to prevent burns from the electrolytic products. Water in small receptacles can also be placed between the metal electrode and the skin. After the electrodes are secured, the current is turned on and gradually increased to the desired magnitude. The intensity of the effect is determined by the density of the current (amount of mA/cm2 of the pad) and duration of the procedure. The procedure is carried out at a current density of 0.01 to 0.1 mA/cm2, depending on the purpose of the procedure, the size of the electrodes, and the age, condition, and feelings of the patient, who should not suffer pain or a burning sensation during the procedure. When the treatment is finished, the current is decreased as gradually as it was intensified, until it is turned off completely.

Galvanization is indicated for diseases and lesions of various divisions of the peripheral nervous system that are of infectious, toxic, or traumatic origin (radiculitis, plexitis, neuritis, and neuralgia at various locations). It is also used to treat the sequelae of diseases and lesions of the brain and spinal cord and the meninges, as well as neuroses, autonomic-vascular disturbances, and chronic inflammations of the joints (arthritis) that are of traumatic, rheumatic, or metabolic origin.


Anikin, M. M., and G. S. Varshaver. Osnovy fizioterapii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1950.
Liventsev, N. M. Elektromeditsinskaia apparatura, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1964.


References in periodicals archive ?
In connection with simultaneous commissioning of big number of new highly productive electrolytic galvanization units in 2003, production of this kind of rolled sheet with the coating had to sharply increase.
3050 Ref-1 To 5 As Per Rdso Specification No Eti/Ohe/13 4/84 With A And C Slip No 1 To 3 For Galvanization And Steel Confirming To Is:2062/2011 And Zinc Confirming To Is :209/1992 And Drawing No Eti/Ohe/P/3050 Mod-B.
Next to recovering from his stroke, establishing Heart Across America campaign, which includes the challenging three month-long bike ride across America, as well as the galvanization of the public through events, motivational speaking and media appearances, will be the second hardest thing that Sean has ever had to do.
According to Henkel, most solar equipment manufacturers use a hot-dip galvanization process to protect their metal parts.
It is also used in galvanization processes, for coating iron and zinc with a protective layer of chromium.
This is the new edition of Guthrie's 1964 account of the theater's inception and its galvanization of the American regional theater movement.
The second piece of fallout is the galvanization of the Palestinian extreme right and left.
Optimization of Continuous Hot Dipped Galvanization Lines through the Addition of a Hot Coating Weight Sensor
LineBOSS(TM) Sidebreak Switches are first in industry to utilize thermal diffusion galvanization (TDG); this adoption further establishes Inertia Engineering's leadership in line switch reliability and long-term performance
Zinc production technology, lead production technology, applications such as the galvanization of steel, chemicals, ZnO and batteries are covered.
Because nitriding is a metallurgical process that changes the surface of the metal rather than applying a coating like paint or galvanization, it results in a surface that is hard to scratch, so rust can't get underneath it.
The packaging is injected with a galvanization base which can be detached without damaging the color.