How does an electric muscle stimulator work?
First, we need to figure out how an electric muscle stimulator works. Once, electric muscle stimulators were used for physical therapy and rehabilitation. Now, they are widely used by both amateurs and professional athletes, offering a new means for exercising and improving our fitness.
Electric muscle stimulation is precisely what it implies: using electric currents to stimulate muscles. It works by sending electrical signals to stimulate or contract our muscles to deliver its "magic." Generally, the technique is reserved for therapy or rehabilitation. However, you must understand that an electric muscle stimulator cannot help you reduce weight. While an electric muscle stimulator can temporarily strengthen and tighten muscles, no evidence proves that you can use the treatment to reduce weight or waistlines or build "rock-hard" abs.
What does electric muscle stimulation look like?
If you have ever asked a therapist to repair soft tissue injury, you may have received a form of electrical muscle stimulation. A physical therapist attaches electrode pads to your body during electrical stimulation therapy. Then, they press a button on the device, and the electrical stimulator starts working, producing electrical pulses that stimulate skeletal muscle contraction. The contractile movements of the muscles during treatment may not be easily detected or may feel like involuntary muscle twitching.
What are the benefits and uses of electric muscle stimulation?
- Boost muscle endurance and strength
According to studies, electrical stimulation exercises can enhance muscle endurance and strength. In a small study, people using electronic muscle stimulators showed varying degrees of improvement in their muscle endurance and strength, even though their weight remained the same.
- Help athletes recover after workouts
Electrical stimulation uses low-level electric currents to enhance blood flow, clear lactic acid, discharge endorphins, and relax muscles. Athletes who engage in intense exercise are prone to severe cramps or spasms. Thus, electrical stimulation therapy can be a great help to them. Endurance athletes, for example, might want to use electrical stimulation regularly in their daily life so they can keep their muscles relaxed without worrying about injuries if they continue their activities.
- An electric muscle stimulator can do the following: relax back muscles and relieves tightness and soreness of the back. For example, back muscle spasms may trigger sciatica. Relieving and even terminating back muscle spasms can reduce the burden on the sciatic nerve. Moreover, electrical muscle stimulation can help relieve muscle tightness and soreness caused by other spinal problems.
- Build up muscle strength
Another benefit of muscle stimulation is that it helps you strengthen your muscles. Although EMS cannot replace exercise and other training, there is no doubt that it can improve your performance. Muscle stimulation can help a person increase endurance as the muscles maintain a long period of tension. This is also an excellent way to promote muscle fiber recovery while exerting no stress on your muscles. If you are a workout-goer but do not have too much time, we suggest you can try EMS. In this way, you can get a satisfactory result in a short period.
Does an electric muscle stimulator work?
How to use electrical muscle stimulators? Do they work? Muscle stimulators, also known as electrical muscle stimulation, work similarly to basic muscle movements. Typically, an EMS device consists of a device that generates electrical pulses and a set of electrodes attached to the skin. Electrical pulses mimic the action of the brain, sending signals to motor nerves that trigger muscle contractions. You can control the strength of the electrical pulses by setting a muscle stimulator, which affects the intensity of muscle contraction.
Therefore, electric muscle stimulation at least works well in contracting your muscles. What else can they do, you might ask? EMS is extremely effective in improving physical performance through many trials related to the use of electric muscle stimulators and their effects on athletes.
What to expect from an electrical muscle stimulation treatment
Now that you know that muscle stimulation benefits you. Let's see how the treatment is prepared. With that in mind, here you can look closely at how electrical muscle stimulation is performed. It's not that complicated. The following is a routine procedure for electrical muscle stimulation therapy.
- A physical therapist will place electrodes on your body when you need treatment.
- Usually, the intensity of electric currents is low at the beginning. Then, as the treatment progresses, the physiotherapist may gradually increase the level of the electrical pulses according to the actual situation.
- You may feel a tingling pain in your treatment area, but most people find this pain mild. It should be added that it is pain-free during the treatment.
- You may sense muscle twitches or contractions during treatment.
- Finally, a muscle stimulation session lasts about 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the area you will receive treatment and your condition.
Is electrical muscle stimulation safe?
One of the benefits of muscle stimulation is that it is safe. There is little risk associated with the treatment. However, in rare cases, some people may experience skin irritation.
In addition, the treatment may not be suitable for everyone. People with heart disease are advised not to take this treatment. Nor can people with pacemakers or implanted heart devices. That is because electrical pulses can interfere with the effectiveness of such devices and even pose great danger. Moreover, pregnant women may also stay away from it.
In short, it is best to consult your doctor before taking this treatment. You should only accept this treatment when you know what your situation is.