Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) was developed to assist in many types of muscle rehabilitation and to prevent muscle degeneration in paralyzed patients, but it has quickly been adapted to other protocols as well.
The technology for EMS is based on the reaction of the body to normal exercise. In healthy exercise, the brain sends a signal through the nerves to the muscles. When the signal reaches the muscle, it triggers a chemical reaction, causing the muscle to contract or twitch. This twitch usually involves several muscular motor points at the same time and is directly related to the intensity of stimulus.
In clinical practice, EMS equipment is generating a weak electric impulse that is used to produce a strong muscular contraction similar to a normal voluntary contraction. In EMS, the number of muscles involved in a contraction can be controlled by the number of electrodes placed on the muscles as well as the location and placement of these electrodes. In general, when the muscles are electrically stimulated their contractile force depends on the amplitude of stimulus which is defined as the duration of the stimulating pulse and its frequency (repetition rate).
The therapy utilizes this current in an effort to help reduce swelling, muscle spasm and release trigger points that may have the muscle locked up. It also causes the body to release natural pain killers – naturally occurring opiate compounds called endorphins and enkephalins. This is a great therapy if there is a soft tissue injury that causes pain. It works well in relaxing the muscle and allowing it to return to its normal state rather quickly. Short therapy sessions are excellent at facilitating relief from acute and chronic pain.
- The use of EMS device during pregnancy has not been established as safe. Should definitely not be placed over a pregnant uterus.
- Adequate precautions should be taken for persons with suspected heart problems or epilepsy.
- EMS device should not be applied trans-cerebrally (across the head), or over the carotid sinus nerves, especially in patients with a known sensitivity to the carotid sinus reflex. EMS device should only be used under physician supervision for adjunctive therapy for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions.
- Persons with implanted pacemakers
- Cancerous lesions
- Multiple sclerosis
- Where there is a tendency to hemorrhage following acute trauma or fracture
- Following recent surgical procedure when muscle contraction may disrupt the healing process
- Over the menstruating uterus
- Any acute medical condition under treatment, such as recent surgery or illness
- Swollen, infected, inflamed areas, or skin eruption
Patients usually describe the experience as a tingling sensation that is generally very pleasing and easily tolerated. Ask Us About How You Could Benefit From Electrical Muscle Stimulation Today!