Electrical Muscle Stimulation, or EMS is a technique used by physiotherapists to help strengthen muscles. Though health professionals don’t know exactly how it works, some believe EMS makes muscle fibers contract and grow strong. It also helps the body remember which muscles to use in a more efficient way. There are many injuries that benefit from EMS. Following are eight of them:
1. Neck Strain
Neck strain happens when the head is violently jolted back and forth and strains the muscles or tendons in the neck. It is often the result of a collision, whether in an automobile or on a playing field. A fall or blow can also twist the neck. Pain and stiffness usually take a few days to develop. The person may be aware of a crackling sensation when they move their head, and they may have a headache. If they feel pain or tingling in their shoulder that spreads down the arm, it may be a sign of damage to the vertebrae.
2. Piriformis Syndrome
This condition happens when the piriformis muscle impinges on the sciatic nerve. The symptoms are pain in the buttock that shoots down the back of the leg. The pain worsens when the person climbs stairs or inclines or sits. Some people seem to be genetically predisposed to this condition while others get it by overexerting themselves in activities that require sitting. This includes rowing or even riding a bike. Other people get it because they have a bad gait when the walk or run.
3. Rotator Cuff Injuries
The rotator cuff is formed by muscles and tendons that surround the upper arm bone, or humerus. It helps keep the shoulder stable. Injuries happen when the person makes an abrupt overhead arm movement. Sometimes, rotator cuff injuries are chronic and can especially benefit from EMS treatment.
The symptoms of a rotator cuff injury can be dramatic. The person may feel a tearing in their shoulder, weakness and excruciating pain. They can’t move their arm out to the side, and their shoulder is weak.
4. Groin Strain
This happens when one of the adductor muscles is bruised, strained or torn. The injury usually occurs when the person strenuously stretches their leg, as when they’re kicking a ball or sprinting. The pain of this injury is felt at the top of the person’s inner thigh.
5. Hamstring Injuries
The hamstring muscles are three long muscles at the back of the thigh. They help a person extend their leg, and flex the knee. Symptoms of a hamstring injury are pain, discoloration around the area and swelling. Some people hear a popping sound at the instant of the injury. They might have pain on walking that can cause them to limp or can force them to use crutches.
6. Calf Injuries
The muscles in the calf provide a lot of the power that helps a person raise their heel or extend a foot. The most common injury is to the gastrocnemius muscle and happens when the muscle violently contracts. The symptoms are tightness, swelling and pain in the calf. When the injury happens, the person may hear a sound like a whip being cracked.
7. Quadriceps Injuries
A person has four quadriceps muscles in each thigh, and they help the person walk, run, straighten up, and bend the leg. These muscles can suffer bruises, strains or serious ruptures. Of the quadriceps, the rectus femoris muscle is the most vulnerable to injury. The symptoms are pain, tenderness and bruising. The patient finds it hard to straighten their knee and has trouble walking.
8. Intersection Syndrome
This is an inflammation of the area where the muscles in the wrist intersect. The injury is caused by repetitive pulling, squeezing or gripping and is common in people who play sports such as tennis, weight-lifting or skiing. Symptoms are a sore, red wrist and pain in the thumb that may extend into the forearm.