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NMES or EMS is the use of electrical impulses to stimulate muscles and elicit muscle contraction. NEMS is commonly used in patients who have gone through a period of immobilization such as fractures and surgeries. It is used as a rehabilitation tool to assist patients in activating weak muscles during or immediately after immobilization and before they can engage in other forms of strengthening exercises.
What is it used for?
In recent years, NMES has been used in strength training protocols for healthy individuals or athletes and for a speedy recovery after sports injuries. NMES also is used for testing purposes and to evaluate the function of neural and muscular structures.
The impulses are delivered through skin and by electrodes attached to the muscles being stimulated and cause the muscle to contract.
Who Benefits from NMES?
Patients who have suffered complex injuries and have been immobilized for a long period of time, lose their muscle mass and the ability to activate muscles. NMES is a valuable modality in stimulating specific muscle or muscle group and in rehabilitation protocols for these patients.
EMS is also used in post- operative physiotherapy for the purpose of muscle re-training or re-education. Prolonged inactivity, weakens the brain and nervous system connection to muscles. This connection strengthens through repetitive activation of the muscle while proper form is maintained to increase patient’s awareness of proper muscle activation. Treatment sessions are usually between 10 to 15 minutes. The impulse should be strong enough to generate visible muscle contraction, therefore the sessions might be slightly uncomfortable but they should not be painful.
Russian stimulation is one form of NEMS and is used to activate and strengthen muscles pre operation or after a surgery to help to improve the muscle activation.