What is EMS or Muscle Stim?
Electric muscle stimulation is a physical therapy modality that can be used to stimulate muscle contraction in an effort to control pain, strengthen muscle and manage inflammation.
How is muscle stim performed?
When you have a muscle stim treatment, electrodes are hooked up to an electric stimulation machine and are placed around the affected area of your neck, back, shoulder, knee, ankle or wrist. The placement of the electrodes depends on the reason for which the muscle stim is given, along with how deep or superficial your doctor intends for the current to go.
The therapist will adjust the controls of the stim machine until you feel a prickly sensation. You should have it as high as you can comfortably tolerate it, without it burning, stinging or feeling like it is stabbing. You do not want it to involuntarily move your muscle, similar to twitching, as this could over work the muscle and cause further issues.
Muscle Stim for Healing and Pain Control
Electric muscle stimulation therapy may enhance tissue healing and inflammation control. It works by reducing swelling and increasing circulation. Muscle stim may block nerve transmission at the spinal cord, thereby reducing pain sensations.