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What you should know about EMS

The benefits of Muscle Stimulation?

Muscle stimulation, also known as EMS or E-stim, is a physical therapy treatment that replicates the action of physical activity by sending electrical signals to your nervous system’s neurons. Just like physical activity the electrical impulses stimulate your nervous system and enable muscle growth.

EMS increases muscle strength which helps to repair injuries and subsequently  build muscle fibers through cycles of relaxation and contraction.

This cycle of stimulation engages slow-twitch muscle fibers and fast-twitch muscle fibers, sending electrical signals every three seconds. “Twitch” refers to muscle contraction (movement). This is the key benefit of muscle stimulation.   

Most of the muscles in your body have both slow and fast twitch muscle fibers. However, the body parts that do the same job over a long period of time (i.e., back muscles) tend to have a higher ratio of slow versus fast twitch.

Slow twitch muscles are also known as red muscle fibers, provide support for endurance and strength for muscles, requiring more blood flow.

There is a type of E-stim that focuses on pain relief. It generates signals of different wavelengths and sends them to nerve fibers instead of muscle fibers. Surprisingly, electrical stimulation can block the transfer of pain signals to the brain. As such, it’s a great treatment for muscle pain.

EMS pads and cables on patient

How Does Electrical Muscle Stimulation Work?

During electrical stimulation, electrodes are placed on the skin. These electrodes are compact adhesive pads that connect to e-stims by wires. A number of these electrodes are carefully placed on the treatment area through which EMS (pulses) are delivered, in a consistent time-based frequency to the subject. Also, you should know that you will feel a sting at the surface of contact of the electrodes on your skin during each session.

When these pulses reach muscle fibers, they cause muscle fibers to contract. In the nervous system, there is a cut in the transmission of pain signals to the spinal cord and brain. As a result, there’s a secretion of pain-relieving signals-endorphin.

It is important to note that the duration for muscle stimulation treatments may vary depending on the condition.

Duration of Muscle Stimulation

Each muscle stimulation therapy session should last for 15-30 minutes. This is largely dependent on the condition being treated. For some conditions, your therapist may need to extend the time. This is likely to add to the overall price of muscle stimulation.

Benefits Of Muscle Stimulation Treatments

There has been a lot of research performed on electrical stimulation. Also, there have been lots of modifications and upgrades in electrical stimulation treatment. As a result, you can expect to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Regeneration Of Damaged Nerves
  • Muscle Stimulation

Several studies recommend the use of invasive and non-invasive stimulation methods for nerve regeneration. During electrical stimulation, the constant flow of impulses on nerve fibres help the regeneration process.

Muscle stimulation offers a boost in the power and strength development of muscle fibres. In return, electric muscle stimulation adds to fitness performance, strength, explosiveness, recovery and builds strength endurance.

  • Muscle Conditioning

Conditioning will mean a structural adaptation due to constant reinforcement of stimulus for a reward. When athletes go for workout sessions, they ensure that those sessions are constant to make sure that there is a stable reinforcement of stimulus. This way, they perform better.

When electric impulses pass through muscle fibres, they cause the fibres to contract. So, constant flow of electric impulses will mean continuous contraction to enable the fibers to adapt to continuous contractions. Such muscle enhancements will help you run faster, jump higher and so on.

  • Quick Recovery

Muscle stimulation does hasten the recovery process. It can heal muscle and nerve fibers by constantly passing stimulus through them. Pulses aimed at the nervous system block the transmission of pain signals from reaching the spinal cord and brain. The pulses also stimulate the body to produce more natural pain-relieving chemicals called endorphins. This way, the healing process takes less time, and you will feel less pain.

Your next step

If you still have questions about EMS contact us for a one on one consultation

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