According to Wikipedia Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) or neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) or electromyostimulation, is the elicitation of muscle contraction using electric impulses.
In this therapy stimulation or energy is applied by high tech devices to strengthen the weak muscles. Also it helps greatly to provide toned abs.
Thus it is also used for weight loss and body building in addition to physical therapy.
EMS has also been becoming increasingly popular among athletes and sports persons due to its ability to provide maximum relief from painful muscles in very less time.
It also helps in preventing the muscle pain for them and thus helps in enhanced performance.
How Does EMS Therapy Work?
For people who doubt about whether it really works for abs relief or not; all I can say is it surely works.
The pads of the electronic muscle stimulator machine are placed on the skin at the end of the muscle which is to be stimulated. You have four channels with lead wires and each of the wire is connected to the two pads.
To this, a very small amount of current is passed from one pad to other in the form of a circuit; using muscle tissues as a channel.
The electric current moves at certain frequencies wherein the pulse duration and motor neurons available within the circuit are also stimulated.
Electric Muscle Stimulator Benefits
Previously, electronic muscle stimulation device were only used by medical practitioners and doctors as a part of therapy to provide relief to painful neck, upper back and lower back areas of the body.
But with changing technology, these FDA approved units are now becoming compact and are available for personal usage as well for stimulating abs muscles.
Especially for body builders and athletes who often suffers from body pain, this EMS device proves very useful in their everyday regime and workout.
Studies shows that low frequency electrical stimulation provides a boost to the brain to produce the natural painkillers in the body (endorphins and enkephalins), thus helping in relieving the pain.
EMS units, devices and ab belts are presently available in two categories i.e. over-the counter devices (OTC) and prescription device. These can be used at home to:
- Give strength to weak muscles
- Treat sore and painful muscles
- Reduces muscle spasm
- Provides muscle re-education
- Gives resistance and endurance
- Relives post-traumatic acute pain
- Prevents venous thrombosis
- Pre-warm your body for intense workout
- Prevents blood clots after surgery process
- Helps to maintain and increase the range of motion
- Gives active recovery to the body after intense workout
- Acts as a massager, allowing free flow of blood to the tired muscles
- Helps to retard or prevent atrophy from the disuse of particular muscles
- Re-train the muscles for contracting after an injury or disease
If you are looking to purchase an EMS device, then search for the one which is FDA approved and is versatile enough to work on the muscle stimulation for providing you better relief.
Just make sure that you use it after a proper consultation with your physician so that you can relax your muscles without any risk.
Electrical Muscle Stimulation Side Effects and Dangers
Although electric stimulation therapy machine helps to prevent muscle atrophy after the injuries and to generate responses, there are many side effects of using these devices.
You should of-course know about them before using them.
Bruising and Skin irritation: Bruising is caused by improper use and skin irritation happens on the skin where the pads are placed in an incorrect way. It is therefore recommended to periodically change the position of the pads to protect skin.
Shock: Electrocution or shock can take place if there is fault in an electrical cable which affects not only the person but also other members nearby.
Tissue burns: Improper use of the device can lead to skin burns as a higher concentration of energy to the skin causes pain and discomfort. When there is a tingling sensation or a painful feel, then remove the electrodes and consult a medical practitioner to recover burns.
Causes muscle twitching: Excessive use of Electrical muscle stimulation can cause muscle twitching and pain, mainly when you adjust the intensity on high mode. It causes soreness in muscles. Thus, reduce the intensity to feel stronger without any muscle twitching.
Interference with the pacemaker: A person with a pacemaker is not recommended to use electronic muscle stimulator as it interferes with the device and can prove dangerous to health.
The electric charge from the stimulation machine may short the pacemaker, discontinuing it may even lead to death.
Things to Note Before You Try Electrical Muscle Stimulation
Besides knowing about the above electrical stimulation physical therapy side effects, you should also be aware of using the device properly on your body parts.
While using EMS machine for the first time, make sure that you do not use and expose it to the vital organs of the body which are much sensitive.
Heart is the most sensitive most organ in our body which needs to be taken care of. As heart has its won bio-electrical rhythm to disrupt the machine, it can be dangerous for you to use the unit here in this region.
Neck is also one of the most fragile and sensitive areas where major arteries and nerves (as a part of brain stem and spinal column) are present.
Although EMS unit is good for abs, you should not use muscle stimulation machine on the neck area for long, without a proper consultation.
Overall, Electronic Muscle Stimulators are getting more popular among the people due to its advantages and useful effects on the body.
This is the reason it has become an excellent device among the coaches and athletes for muscle training, strength training and sore muscle recovery.
The electrical impulses generated by the device and delivered through the electrodes are found to be fair to the muscles which you wish to stimulate.
Those who have already used the product feels more efficient, active and functional, from its very first use. So why not try this out for getting relief. We are sure, you will find it useful too.