The medical community has made great strides in developing innovative treatment methods for patients suffering an injury that requires rehabilitation of the muscle tissues. Injuries can result from a sports related event, an accident that requires the need for physical therapy, or an injury resulting from a daily activity. One therapeutic treatment that has become popular in treating physical injuries is Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS)
Electrical muscle stimulation, also referred to as neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), or electromyostimulation, is used for the prevention of muscle spasms and muscle atrophy, increasing local blood circulation by stimulating muscle tissue, strengthening the muscle tissue to promote healing, maintaining or increasing the range of motion, muscle re-education, and the stimulation of calf muscles to prevent venous thrombosis
How EMS Works
EMS uses an electrical current to stimulate your muscles. The electrical pulse stimulates the nerves to generate a natural muscle contraction. This is known as passive exercise. EMS devices produce electrical signals that stimulate the nerves. The impulses are produced by an electrical device and delivered through electrodes placed on the skin near the muscles that require stimulation. By placing the pads near a certain group of muscles, and then sending the impulses using the EMS device, the muscles will begin to contract and relax. The impulses imitate the impulses produced by the brain to stimulate muscle tissue. The contractions that results from stimulation are much like muscle contractions during regular exercise. The voltage for different pressure points on the muscle can be adjusted according to need. The result of stimulation is the repairing and strengthening of muscles.
EMS devices help stimulate muscle tissue that may not be affected by regular exercise routines. They will stimulate damaged muscle tissues resulting in restoring, toning, and strengthening of the damaged tissue. The pulses stimulate the tissue fibers to certain degrees and patterns which decreases muscle degeneration caused by nerve atrophy.
Advantages of Using EMS Devices
Most rehabilitation clinics use EMS devices because of their healing qualities. When using EMS, the repair process is much faster because nerve and muscle tissue are able to recover more quickly. Stimulation is sufficient to initiate repair of the muscle. When the muscle tear heals, the patient can continue with the next step in the rehabilitation process. Therefore, the patient’s rehabilitation time is shorter. The method is much less painful. It can also be relaxing because much of the pain is alleviated. As well, the relief can last for some time after the session is complete.
The FDA mandates that manuals display contraindications, warnings, precautions and adverse reactions. This includes: no use for wearers of pacemakers; no use on critical body parts, such as carotid sinus nerves, across the chest, or across the brain; caution in the use during pregnancy, menstruation, and other conditions that may be affected by muscle contractions. Possible adverse effects can include skin irritations and burns
More hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, and sport clinics are using Electronic Muscle Simulators, or EMS devices. Their use is growing particularly in the athlete community. The beneficial results have attracted the attention of many in the medical community. General Practitioners are now seeing the benefits of using EMS on their patients. EMS devices can also be found in gyms and in homes to help people recover quicker from a muscle injury. Most people who have received EMS treatment find the process constructive and comforting. Because it speeds up the rehabilitation process, patients will find themselves saving money. Electronic muscle simulators are a great way to encourage muscle healing, control pain, and strengthen the muscles.