Springs Chiropractor Explains Electrical Muscle Stimulation
(EMS or E-stim)
E-stim is one of the more common treatments available among Colorado Springs physical medicine practitioners of all types: Chiropractic Doctors, Physical Therapists, and Athletic Trainers.
There are many different types and styles of E-stim. Most types of E-stim are delivered at Thrive Chiropractic at the direction of our doctors.
How Does Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS) work?
First, pads with sticky backing known as electrodes are attached to areas of the body. The electrodes are connected to a machine. Electrical impulses generated by the machine travel thru the electrodes and into the muscles. The electrical impulses mimic the impulses of the nervous system and cause the muscle to contract.
Reasons to Use EMS
- Relaxing muscle spasm
- Reduce muscular pain
- Reduce swelling or
- Increasing blood circulations to the muscle
- Increasing range of motion in neck, and or shoulder
- Increasing range of motion in lower back, and or legs
Types of EMS
Interferential - The electrical impulses contract and relax the muscles in a coordinated pattern. This muscle contraction pattern produces massaging like effect.
Low Volt Galvanic - Produces direct sustained muscular contraction. It causes muscle spasm to be relieved by fatiguing muscle to failure. The muscle fatigues so it can't spasm.
High Volt Galvanic- Produces an ionic charge which reduces swelling. It creates a current that attracts or repels fluids in the muscle.
2. Outpatient EMS
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) - TENS was designed to relieve pain by sending gentle electrical impulses through the skin to the nerve fibers. This suppresses pain by blocking the pain signals before they reach the brain. TENS is believed to work by two different mechanisms.
First, electrical stimulation of the nerve fibers can block a pain signal from being carried to the brain. If the signal is blocked, pain is not perceived.
Secondly, the body has its own mechanism for suppressing pain. It does this by releasing natural chemicals called endorphins in the brain which act as analgesics. TENS may activate this mechanism.
Patients of Thrive Chiropractic and Dr. Kirby Gengler have access to both impatient and outpatient electrical muscle stimulation therapy.
EMS is often best used in combination with other therapies.
Combining EMS with chiropractic
adjustments and/or spinal decompression therapy can produce superior results as
opposed to individual therapy treatment.
EMS is a FDA-Approved Medical Device
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certifies and releases EMS devices into two broad categories: over-the counter devices (OTC), and prescription devices. OTC devices are marketable only for muscle toning.