Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS)

FieldDiscipline

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Hi all,

Has anyone here ever dabbled in this? Is it any good? Example here.

Main interest is the rehab of injuries. I'm also interested in its potential effects on flexibilty. Does it tone/build muscle well or is it a gimmick? I'd be buying for rehab, but if it is good for general stuff then so much the better.

Cheers for any input.
 

Jade Tigress

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I've heard of it before. Seems like a gimmick to me. Rehab purposes, maybe, but for building muscle? I have a hard time buying it. Though I do recall seeing a TV special some time ago about some Brazilian dancer who goes to a facility to have EMS done on her butt to keep it firm. The process was long, I think she had to be there a couple hours and the power used was strong enough to cause some pretty high discomfort. I think knocking out some squats, lunges, etc. would achieve the same effect in less time.
 

searcher

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I have used it for years as a way to help rehab injuries. The commercial units are very good for people who are restricted on their movement of the injured area. As far as muscle building goes, spend your money on a good workout plan and/or gym membership. That will get you better results.

And don't skip out on how much you pay. The cheaper units are not nearly as good as the commercial grade units.

Do you have experience with e-stim? if you don't, you can actually screw up injuries worse than leaving them alone. Get some training if you are going to buy one.
 

Bill Mattocks

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There are people who buy these things because they are into pain. This should tell you something.
 

Tensei85

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Agreed, as said before. When I was a teenager take note time to upgrade the units & such, but I tried it for muscle development & had little to no effect it did make me sweat however. Haha, thats about it.
 

xJOHNx

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I use it in the clinic for rehab purposes.
But then I fill in all of the parameters, not something you can do on a normal machine.

You can archieve hypertrophy, but only with the clinical versions.
 
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FieldDiscipline

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Cheers for all the help. I have no training in these, and an injury that is proving difficult to shift so thought it might be worth investigating.

There are people who buy these things because they are into pain. This should tell you something.

It sure has!
 

xJOHNx

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I forgot to add something.

The idea these days about Elektro Stimulation is somewhat different then in the past.
Because you don't give the "commando" for the muscle to contract, yet it contracts. In the long term this could prove to be not helping you at all. Also Because muscles are designed to contract at 70% of their total power, with ES they are triggered to the full 100%.

Both these factors could somewhat get in the way. Leading to wrong commando's, less "boss" over the system (I cannot translate the correct word) and to strains.

Just keep it in mind ;)
edit: forgot something else!

It's not the muscle that gets the stimulation, it's the nerves :)
 
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Jenny_in_Chico

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EMS machines have been used on racehorses, usually to rehab injuries to the lower legs, for more than 20 years. The stimuli are not at a voltage to hurt the animal, because that would cause the animal to freak out and exacerbate the injury. It works. It improves blood flow, speeds nerve regeneration, and speeds healing of bone fractures.
 

ChingChuan

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It improves blood flow, speeds nerve regeneration, and speeds healing of bone fractures.
Well, I've yet to see research that provides evidence for that...

What kind of injury did you sustain? In martial arts, most people injure their joints or tendons and not the muscles themselves... The advantage of 'old fashioned' exercises (that a physiotherapist can recommend) is that they also exercise the joints etc. instead of only the muscles.
So if I were you, I'd visit my doctor and ask him about it...
 

Jenny_in_Chico

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Well, I've yet to see research that provides evidence for that...

Effects of muscular electrostimulation on morphometric and biochemical parameters in the horse.
Author(s): des Lions JA, Michaux JM, Denoix JM
Source: SCIENCE & SPORTS Volume: 14 Issue: 2 Pages: 88-93 Published: MAR-APR 1999

Electroanalgesia and ultrasonotherapy relationship on the treatment of inflammatory lesions of Longissimus dorsi muscle in the horse
Author(s): Mercado MC, Lineiro JAG, Lightowler CH
Source: REVISTA CIENTIFICA-FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS VETERINARIAS Volume: 12 Issue: 2 Pages: 127-132 Published: MAR-APR 2002

CAPACITIVELY COUPLED ELECTRICAL-STIMULATION OF BONE HEALING IN THE HORSE - INVIVO STUDY WITH A SALTER TYPE-IV OSTEOTOMY MODEL WITH STAINLESS-STEEL SURFACE ELECTRODES
Author(s): COLLIER MA, KALLFELZ FA, RENDANO VT, et al.
Source: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF VETERINARY RESEARCH Volume: 46 Issue: 3 Pages: 623-631 Published: 1985

ELECTRICAL-STIMULATION ON SKIN WOUND-HEALING IN THE HORSE - PRELIMINARY STUDIES
Author(s): STECKEL RR, PAGE EH, GEDDES LA, et al.
Source: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF VETERINARY RESEARCH Volume: 45 Issue: 4 Pages: 800-803 Published: 1984
 

Omar B

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Since my car accident I've been doing Physical therapy a couple times a week and the electrical thing is apart of it. Other than being slightly annoying I've not noticed any real effects.
 

SahBumNimRush

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There are many types of clinical EMS. The one typically used in PT and other physical medicine clinics is Interferrential Muscle Stimulation, which is used to reduce muscle spasm and as an analgesic. There are also High Volt DC, Low Volt DC, Microcurrent, Biphasic, and Russian Stims. RUSSIAN stimulation is used to actually build strength (that's strength, not size of the muscle). It is utilized AFTER a workout to fully fatigue the muscle fibers, and it is not comfortable. Most stim machines don't have this capability, unless you have a higher end clinical machine (mine was $8000). It is mainly used to rehab athletes after injuries to rebuild strength more quickly.

Russian stim is not what is sold on TV and in Magazines.. . don't waste your money!
 
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