Electrical Muscle Stimulation Benefits

Dec 14, 2020

From chronic pain to injury repair, electrical muscle stimulation could be the chiropractic solution you’ve been searching for. This type of chiropractic therapy can provide benefits for every member of the family, targeting a wide range of pain, medical symptoms, and chiropractic issues. Discover the benefits electrical muscle stimulation can have for your family now and begin taking steps to improve your overall health and wellness.  

What is Electrical Muscle Stimulation?

Electrical muscle stimulation is a form of physical therapy that uses an electrical impulse machine to deliver targeted stimulation to specific muscles or nerves in the body. As the charged impulses flow to the targeted muscle, it will contract and de-contract with the flow of impulses

These electrical stimulation impulses can also be used to target nerves insead of muscles. When a nerve is causing pain or has been damaged, the electrical stimulation machine can deliver impulses at a different wavelength to reach the affected nerve in the body. 

What are the Types of Electrical Stimulation

There are two main types of electrical muscle stimulation machines or techniques. The biggest difference between the two comes with the strength or wavelength each can deliver to the targeted area. 

TENS electrical muscle stimulation is a form typically used to deliver pain relief. Whether chronic or short-term, pain can be affected by electrical impulses. The electrode will be placed on the skin near the muscle area experiencing pain. The TENS machine will then deliver impulses through the skin to the nerve ending within the affected muscle. These contractions can block pain signals being sent from the nerves in the muscle or reduce the flow of pain signals. 

EMS electrical muscle stimulation is a stronger wavelength of electrical impulses that target muscle function. These stronger electrodes are also placed on the skin near the affected area. The electrical impulses flow to the muscle, causing it to contract with the flow of stimulation. These contractions cause higher blood flow to the area and help to strengthen muscles through the process of contraction and relaxation.  

How Does Electrical Muscle Stimulation Work?

Electrical muscle stimulation works by using electrical impulses to target an injured or painful area. The impulses flow to the affected muscle and cause contractions and increased blood flow. Both blood flow and contractions have a variety of healing benefits for muscles experiencing pain or in need of repair

Do Electronic Muscle Stimulators Really Work?

Yes! While every treatment works differently for each patient and each situation, electrical muscle stimulation therapy has proven benefits for many who try this type of therapy. Depending on the pain or problem being treated, electrical muscle stimulation can provide both short-term relief and long-term repair.  

How Long Should You Use Electrical Muscle Stimulation?

A safe and effective electrical muscle stimulation session will vary for each patient and each treatment. A typical contraction period can last anywhere from 10-40 minutes depending on the pain levels, muscle repair needed, and health or strength of the patient. Many providers will suggest you use electrical muscle stimulation treatment for at least 20 minutes, but no longer than 60 minutes to experience the best results. Check with your health provider to find the right treatment for you. 

What are the Benefits of Electrical Muscle Stimulation?

The benefits experienced from electrical muscle stimulation can vary depending on the reason treatment was needed, the seriousness of the issue, and the way each body responds to the treatment. Some of the most common benefits found from electrical muscle stimulation include:

  • Reduced pain and nerve impulses
  • Reduced swelling and inflammation
  • Improved joint pain
  • Improved blood flow and circulation
  • Improved muscle strength
  • Expedited muscle repair
  • Improved range of motion

These are just some of the potential benefits found with effective electrical muscle stimulation therapy. Depending on the problem or pain you might be experiencing, you could find one or more of these benefits would improve your health and wellness. 

What are the Side Effects of Electrical Stimulation? 

One of the best things about electrical muscle stimulation is its lack of dangerous side effects. This type of therapy is relatively inexpensive, painless, and easy to administer. While it is typically safe for most patients, there are a few potential risks that electrical impulses and contraction can bring. 

The largest risk with electrical muscle stimulation therapy comes to those who have a pacemaker or heart complications. The steady beat and flow of a pacemaker could be disrupted by the addition of electrical impulses into the body and irregular heart beat issues could be exasperated. 

In addition, those who are pregnant should most likely not use electrical muscle stimulation treatment. 

Beyond those issues, the most common side effects is irritation at the electrode site. The stimulation electrodes are attached to the skin with a sticky material on the underside of the electrode. Those with sensitive skin or allergies may experience irritation from this material. 

Finally, overuse of electrical muscle stimulation can lead to muscle weakness or soreness. Just like overusing a muscle when exercising, overdoing the stimulated contractions can lead to discomfort. 

Is Electrical Muscle Stimulation Right for Me?

Electrical muscle stimulation is a typically safe and inexpensive type of treatment for a wide range of issues. This versatility means it can be used to treat everything from chronic pain to stroke symptoms. Some of the most common issues treated with electrical muscle stimulation therapy include:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Muscle injury 
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Stroke symptoms
  • Muscle paralysis 
  • Nerve inflammation or overactivity
  • Dysphagia
  • Arthritis

These are just some of the many issues that can be improved with electrical muscle stimulation treatment. Make an appointment to see your health and wellness provider to find out if electrical muscle stimulation could help you!

Our Chiropractic Doctor

Dr. Amanda Hurley

Dr. Amanda Hurley

M.D. Chiropractor

Dr. Amanda is thrilled to be serving the Fargo-Moorhead community as she was raised in Fargo, ND. Dr. Amanda had always planned on attending North Dakota State University for Nursing, but while she was in school realized her interests aligned more with a holistic approach to medicine. She changed her major to pre-chiropractic and began diving into chiropractic care full force.

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