Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) is a treatment method being used to reduce pain, swelling, and recovery time. This increasingly popular treatment works well for soft tissue injuries, muscle spasms, and even for athletes who want quicker recovery from workouts.
How Does Electrical Muscle Stimulation Work?
This treatment is performed here in the office, and usually only takes 10-15 minutes. Electrodes are placed on the skin over the affected area, and the machine is turned on. A small electrical current is then transmitted into the soft tissue or muscle. The level of current used depends on the injury, its location, and how deep the therapy will be, but is always done to your comfort level. This electrical current causes the muscles to experience very small but quick contractions. During the treatment, patients may feel a prickly or tingling sensation; however, these sensations will subside after the machine is turned off. Many patients enjoy the sensation.
Electrical muscle stimulation creates tiny contractions in the muscles so they become tired and relax, relieving pain and muscle spasms. In addition, it triggers the release of endorphins, which are our body’s natural pain reliever. The process also increases blood flow to the area which clears metabolic waste from the tissue and allows nutrients to be delivered more rapidly. This helps the soft tissue heal more quickly.
Back muscles and neck muscles are common locations for EMS; however, there are many areas of the body that can experience the benefits of this treatment.
Electrical muscle stimulation works well for both acute and chronic pain. If you have been struggling with pain or have recently suffered an injury, ask your chiropractor if electrical muscle stimulation is right for you.