What is a EMS device (electrical muscle stimulator)
Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) is a specific type of electrotherapy used to help stimulate a muscle contraction. This electrotherapy uses an electrical impulse to help strengthen muscles, relieve pain, reduce swelling and help heal wounds.
The impulses mentioned above are generated through the EMS device and delivered through pads, or normally known as electrodes – the positioning of the electrodes are important when using electrotherapy as it needs to go over the muscles that requires stimulation. The electrical impulses created by the EMS machine mimics something called action potential which is normally created by the central nervous system (CNS) – this is the stimulus required to make the muscles contract.
Other types of EMS are called NMES – which is Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation. This type of muscle stimulation uses high intensities that cause excitation of peripheral nerves, the result is muscle contraction.
Do Muscle Stimulators burn fat?
Muscle stimulation machines have little research that directly links the machines and weight loss solely, however the technology is frequently associated with weight reduction if the user pairs it with exercising.
EMS devices can in fact increase the blood flow to muscles during and after exercise (that is if you use the device during a workout). This type of electrotherapy helps athletes or gym-goers recover far quicker and thus can train at a higher intensity more consistently throughout their workouts – this could possibly be how the electrical muscle stimulation devices help them lose weight and tone muscle faster as part of an exercise regime, but it may not necessarily achieve the same benefit or results if the EMS machine is used alone.
How long should you use an Electrical Muscle Stimulator for?
When using the EMS machine, we recommend using it or 5-15 minutes each session. This majorly depends on the treatment, condition and the user’s preference.
During the treatment you will first need to place the electrodes in the correct place (the area you wish to treat). Once in place, ensure the electrical current will begin on a low setting and slowly increase the intensity gradually. As soon as the machine switches on you will certainly feel a tingly and perhaps a 'pins and needles' sensation around the treatment area, this is completely normal and nothing to worry about.
Something to note, during treatment you may feel a muscle twitch or a muscle contract repeatedly, again this is nothing to worry about.
An EMS unit should not be used excessively, as each person will certainly have their own limitation for how long a contraction can usually occur for. We do recommend when using this device, make sure you speak with a professional trainer and use this device within reason.
Benefits of Muscle Stimulation?
We have added 5 benefits below when using the electrical muscle stimulation machine, and why a number of people can find it incredibly beneficial for recovery and performance. There are many other fantastic benefits when using an EMS, but we thought it would be best to shorten the list for now.
- Accelerate Recovery from Injury - If you want to speed up your recovery from an injury, an Electrical Muscle Stimulation can certainly help with that. There have been studies around how EMS treatment could help athletes recover from injury faster – a number of these athletes when using the EMS device saw a significant reduction in DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) as well as an improved range of motion. Other results showed far greater results – EMS had been shown to speed up recovery from nerve injury, with a small-scale group demonstrating how the nerve cells would naturally regenerate over time, with some regenerating faster when using electrical muscle stimulation treatments.
- Increase Aerobic Capacity - Studies have shown when aiming at triggering a cardiovascular exercise response without putting too much pressure on the body, EMS devices were chosen. Fantastic results were shown on a six-minute treadmill walk – those who took part using an EMS device showed that they could move faster, and on average go 15 metres further than before.
- Preserves Muscle Mass - For those who are critically ill, recovery is vital, but preserving muscle mass can be extremely difficult when restricted to your movements or incapacitated. Research has shown that when critically ill patients (those in intensive care) received EMS treatment to their lower body, muscle mass decreased significantly less than previously observed. This has led to a lot of health professionals recommending EMS treatment as part of the rehabilitation program for those in intensive care.
- Supports those with Osteoarthritis - A review of several studies showed that those who suffered from osteoarthritis of the knee, when using an EMS device showed significant improvements over time. The patients showed improvements in their range of movement, duration of morning stiffness and more. It is deemed extremely exciting news for those looking for relief from the pain of arthritis, however many continue to use Tens Machines to alleviate the pain.
- Few or NO Side Effects - When EMS machines are used correctly and the electrodes are positioned in the right places, there are very few to absolutely zero side effects. We recommend reading our instructions manually before use and always seek advice, checkout with your doctor or healthcare professional before commencing treatment.
Our Top 4 best muscle stimulators
Over the past few months we have seen a large quantity of Electrical Muscle Stimulators being sold, and many customers before buying asked a few of the questions above. One main question they asked was What are your Top Muscle Stimulators you have available?
We are happy to answer this!
Bonus: It is both a pain-relieving device (TENS) and a Muscle Stimulator.
This machine is one of our most popular machines for a range of different conditions and for those looking for a quality Muscle Stimulator, or perhaps an all in one!
The Premier EMS and Tens Machine is a fully digital device that also comes with neuromuscular stimulation. The device has 30 clinically approved programmes: 19 Tens Programmes and 11 Muscle and Neuromuscular programmes.
Bonus: 12 Clinically approved EMS programs
This machine again is incredibly popular amongst those that are only after an Electrical Muscle Stimulation device. The Premier EMS is a high-quality CE certified medical muscle stimulator – this device is supplied to many NHS physiotherapy departments across the UK.
Bonus: It is both a pain-relieving device (TENS) and a Muscle Stimulator but is manually adjustable & has a range of programs.
This machine almost matches 1st and 2nd place on this list, but this machine comes with the feature that it is manually adjustable intensities. This EMS machine comes with the large range of programs available for TENS and EMS.
The device also has 30 clinically approved programmes: 19 Tens Programmes and 11 Muscle and Neuromuscular programmes.