Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS) Therapy is the use of electrical impulse to elicit muscle contractions. EMS is also known as electromyostimulation or neuromuscular electrical stimulation. The electrical impulses are generated by a special device, which are delivered to the body through the use of electrodes attached on the skin. The electrodes are connected to the areas of the body close to the muscles that will be stimulated. The electrodes are pads that are attached to the skin by the use of adhesives. The electrical impulses that are delivered stimulate the muscles to contract similar to the action of action potentials coming from the central nervous system in order to move the muscles. Electrical muscle stimulation therapy has been increasingly used because of its potential effects on rehabilitation, strength training, and assessment of neural or muscular function.
Electric Muscle stimulation therapy is considered a complementary tool. There are various studies or researches that have been undertaken, which support the vast benefits of EMS. The mechanism of EMS involves creating adaptation of muscle fibers. EMS uses different types of electrical patterns, known as programs or protocols depending on the types of skeletal muscle fibers to be stimulated. The effects of EMS are also varied from increasing endurance, resistance or strength.
Uses of Electric Muscle Stimulation Therapy
Electric Muscle Stimulation Therapy can be used for therapeutic, training and cosmetic purposes. EMS is used in physical therapy to improve the rehabilitation of patients who suffered from musculoskeletal injuries that caused muscle atrophy because of disuse syndrome. EMS should not be confused with Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS), which is also used in physical therapy for pain relief.
EMS is also used for aesthetic purposes because it significantly improves the tone of muscles. Because of this, it is also used in sports training to increase the muscle strength and endurance of athletes.
Benefits of Electric Muscle Stimulation Therapy
The specific benefits of EMS include:
EMS is beneficial in reliving joint and muscle pains, especially by people experiencing fibromyalgia brought by muscle tension and stress.
Improved Range of Motion of Joints
EMS may also produce benefits in the joints by relieving pain and inflammation in the area through improvement of blood circulation. The strengthening and removal of spasms on the muscles may help in improving the range of motion of joints.
Increased muscle tone and strength
EMS is used in the treatment of patients with muscle atrophy. Atrophy involves the shortening and reduction in the tone of muscles because of disuse syndrome as a result of accidents and other injuries that lead patients to be incapacitated. EMS helps patients regain muscle strength and muscle tone in order for the patient to use them again.
Prevention of pressure sores or ulcers
The development of pressure sore is rooted to the limited blood circulation in an area of the body, which is usually due to increased pressure in the area, such as being bedridden. Stimulating the muscles on these areas increases the muscle tone and may prevent the loss of muscles in the area and maintenance of shape. The most common muscles that may experience pressure sores include the muscles on the buttocks and lower back.
Relief of osteoarthritis
Elderly people who suffer from osteoarthritis may also benefit from EMS because it improves the blood circulation in the joints as well as strengthening the soft structures around it, thereby improving the joint function.
Since there are vast benefits of electric muscle stimulation therapy, it may be used by ill people as well as normal individuals in ensuring a healthy musculoskeletal system.
When visiting Dr. Mohr, your local chiropractor in Tampa, FL, you have the option of laying on a massage table with or without the EMS pads while you wait.