What is Electrical Muscle Stimulation or EMS?
Electrical Muscle Stimulation (abbreviated EMS) is the use of electrical impulses to cause muscle contractions. Also known as electromyostimulation or neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), it is a tool used by body builders, athletes and physical therapy patients to strengthen muscles with a electrical charge, not by traditional contraction methods caused by the user from the nervous system. During EMS the electric charge is sent via electrodes attached to the skin surface. An electric muscle stimulator is a device that sends electrical impulses to the body during EMS.
What does Electric Muscle Stimulation do?
EMS or electric muscle stimulation causes a real muscle contraction as electrical impulses are sent to the body. This contraction is the same as one caused by a patient or user. In effect, it mimics the contraction of your muscles by your central nervous system. It can strengthen and tone muscles that are not in use, or able to be used due to injury. It can also increase the time a muscle can be contracted, to strengthen, tone and tighten muscle fiber.
What does an Electric Muscle Stimulation do?
The muscle stimulator creates the electrical charge to cause the muscle contraction inside the body. The device sends a specific charge that can be adjusted in intensity and length (time the charge lasts) through electrodes that are applied to the body. The electrodes can be applied anywhere. Only muscles near the electrodes will contract. The electrodes are applied to the body part they want to work.
What are the side effects of Electric Muscle Stimulation?
There are few side effects of EMS or NMES. These include skin irritations at the site of the electrode application. Headaches and other irritations or painful sensations can also occur when the unit is applied near the head and neck area. Painful muscles may occur if the units are used on afflicted joints or atrophied muscles, or muscles with other types of common issues like spasms. Using the units in excess may also cause pain in the muscles and joints.
What are the benefits of EMS or NMES?
It enhances power, performance and muscular enhancements. Best results are attained when used properly in a complete and targeted work out routine. The benefit is enhanced or optimized training that does not require additional central nervous system input from an athlete that may already be tired and not have the energy to perform at high a level in their workout.
What are Muscle Stimulators used for?
The EMS or NMES device is used to enhance athletic training, body building, and rehabilitation or recovery. It can be used to work muscles harder and longer than an athlete can normally work them, simply because of fatigue and mental wear. The machines may also be used to prevent muscle atrophy in patients who have immobilized limbs or limited movement of a limb.