Electrical Muscle Stimulation Therapy

Electrical muscle stimulation has been used in one form or another for centuries. A modern form of it, also called EMS or E-Stim, is used for training and rehabilitation, and as a preventative tool. It stimulates muscle contractions to control pain, strengthen muscle, and reduce spasms and inflammation.

Electrical muscle stimulation is frequently used in chiropractic treatment. While it’s not considered a cure on its own, EMS can be very effective when we use it in conjunction with chiropractic adjustments and therapeutic exercise to promote healing throughout the body.

How Does Electrical Muscle Stimulation Therapy Work?

In the treatment of soft-tissue injuries or muscle spasms, E-Stim machines deliver a safe, low-level electrical current via a number of electrodes placed around the affected areas, for instance, the back of the neck, the upper or lower back, shoulder, knee, ankle, or wrist. The exact placement depends upon the reason for the treatment, as well as the depth of the electrical current we prescribe.

The electrodes send small electrical impulses that mimic impulses coming from the central nervous system, causing muscles to contract. The patient will feel a tingling yet soothing sensation, as intense as can be tolerated without causing burning, stinging, or stabbing pain.

The rapid muscular contractions experienced during this chiropractic therapy help fatigue muscles and allow them to relax, settling spasms. The contractions also cause the body to release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.

 

What Is EMS Used For?

As noted above, electrical muscle stimulation therapy is frequently used to reduce inflammation, decrease muscle spasms, reduce edema, and relieve both acute and chronic pain. It can also be used to help relieve headache pain, improve range of motion in the joints, facilitate healing, and to reduce stress. EMS may enhance tissue healing and inflammation control by increasing circulation and reducing swelling

EMS has received an increased amount of attention in the past few years because of its potential not only as a rehabilitation tool, but also as a strength-training tool for healthy subjects.

Research on the latter aspect is still being conducted; according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the primary use of EMS is to help patients recover muscle function that’s lost due to injury or medical conditions.

Electrical muscle stimulation therapy can also be used as passive exercise for those unable to take part in a traditional exercise program. One study of 50 women with osteoarthritis of the knee found that four weeks of electrical stimulation was as effective as four weeks of an exercise program in terms of pain-relief, reduction of stiffness, and improvement of physical function.

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How Can Tuck Chiropractic Help You?

At Tuck Chiropractic Clinic, we deliver electrical muscle stimulation therapy that is tailored to the individual needs of our patients. Whether you just want a better health lifestyle or need relief from intense or chronic pain, we can help. Contact us to learn more about EMS therapy or to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced chiropractors.

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