EMS Devices and Sports Injury Rehabilitation
Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS), also known as neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) or electromyostimulation uses an electrical current to stimulate your muscles. The impulses are produced by a device and delivered through electrodes that are placed on the skin near the muscles that require stimulation. The impulses mimic the impulses generated by the brain to stimulate muscle tissue. The result of stimulation is the toning and strengthening of muscles.
How EMS Works
EMS devices have become quite popular in sports injury rehabilitation. When a person has a muscle injury, the electrical current produced by the EMS machine stimulates the muscles. This stimulation triggers repairing of the muscle tissue.
Electronic Muscle Stimulation Devices produce electrical signals that stimulate the nerves. The devices are normally connected to the patient through electrodes that are held in place with adhesive. By placing the pads on a certain set of muscles, and then sending the impulses via the EMS unit, the muscles will react by contracting and relaxing. The resulting contractions are much like the contractions that take place during regular exercise.
Depending on the area that requires treatment, a practitioner can switch the voltage for different pressure points on the muscle. The low voltage reduces pain and stimulates the muscle tissue. EMS devices help stimulate muscle tissue that may not be affected by regular exercise routines. They will stimulate damaged muscle tissues resulting in repairing, toning, and strengthening of the damaged tissue. Wherever the tissues are damaged, EMA devices will stimulate the fibers to various degrees and patterns. These patterns will create a different response from the contraction. Programs are designed to improve exhaustion resistance, endurance, and promote muscle healing. The purpose of using EMS on athletes is to shorten recovery time so they can return to the sport.
Benefits of using EMS Devices
When using EMS devices, the repair process is much quicker because nerve and muscle tissue are able to recover faster after an injury. The rehabilitation process is reduced so the athlete is able to return to the sport much sooner. The treatment is much less painful so the athlete is motivated to concentrate on the healing process. If treatment takes place right away, an athlete has a better chance of avoiding a long term injury. This will keep the athlete positive during the rehabilitation process. Because the devices are very light and battery-operated, they can be taken almost any place. As well, it is an effective tool for people who have a long term injury. If someone spends a great deal of time in bed, a condition known as muscle atrophy will take place. This condition occurs when the muscles begin to waste. Electrical muscle stimulation is an excellent and efficient way of maintaining muscle integrity and strength.
The electrical muscle stimulation device is normally used by a professional medical practitioner. They know exactly where to place the electrodes in order stimulate the correct muscle fiber. An untrained individual may use the device improperly which could add further trauma to the injury. As well, the FDA states that EMS devices should not be used on children and should be used in accordance with their intended use.
People who use the EMS devices for purposes other than a sports injury do so for stress and relief from minor pain such as muscle and joint aches, to enhance their fitness program, strengthen muscles, and improve their appearance.
Most people who have received EMS treatment find the process helpful and relaxing. Electronic muscle stimulators are a great way to promote muscle healing, control pain, and tone and strengthen your muscles.