How EMS is used in rehabilitation
Application of EMS in Rehabilitation
Muscle recovery through electrical muscle stimulation is usually applied during the initial stages of rehabilitation, usually on individuals that have not used the muscles for an extended amount of time due to injury
Although the athlete may not be able to move these muscles due to injury, EMS forces contraction of these unused muscles to improve the cognitive link between the brain and the muscles, toning these muscles and building strength.
Muscle atrophy is basically a decrease in muscle mass and could occur due to various medical condition or even due to natural aging. Under supervised environment, electrical muscle stimulation can be used to slow or prevent the effects of muscle atrophy by continually stimulating the muscles.
Osteoarthritis is attributed to the inflammation and breakdown of cartilege, eventually wearing it down and losing it over time. Currently EMS is a useful option for treating knee osteoarthritis, particularly in patients who are unable to perform an exercise program. EMS helps to relieve pain and stiffness and improve physical function with patients seeing an improvement in walking time and ability to go up and down stairs.
Pressure Sore Prevention
Pressure sores, or most commonly known as bed sores usually affect patients who are confined to wheelchairs, beds or other equipments that results in constant pressure being applied to the same area. Electrical muscle stimulation is used to reduce the risk of these occuring by stimulating the affected areas. For example, EMS can be applied to the gluteus maximus for wheelchair bound patients, avoiding any deformities and maintaining a proper buttock shape, reducing the occurance of bed sores.
The usage of electrical muscle stimulation as a pain relief is still being actively studied as different ailments requires different application of muscle stimulation to make it effective. Currently researches concentrate on using EMS as a pain relief in the following areas: chronic low back pain, chronic muscoskeletal pain, chronic acute pain, cancer pain, osteoarthritis and tendinopathy