Over 3000 pieces of clinically based studies support the use of Electric Muscle Stimulation in rehabilitation programs. It is an effective way to recruit specific muscles fibers, as well as minimize pain and promote the healing process. Whether the target is to reduce pain, such as that in osteoarthritis, or gain back strength lost after an ACL repair, different parameters on the Compex muscle stimulation device will allow for different outcome to be achieved, thus aligning its implementation to the goal of your rehabilitation programs.

 

 

So, what exactly is an Electric Muscle Stimulation machine?

An Electric Muscle Stimulation machine is an artificial way of reproducing an action potential. An action potential is the means by which nerve cells communicate to one another. An impulse is necessary to create an action potential. Compex's Electric Muscle Stimulation system produces this impulse. A muscle will react to the impulse based on the frequency set on the machine. The frequency is the number of impulses per second measured in hertz. Depending on the frequency set, the muscle will react accordingly, often producing a twitch or contraction. Production of a contraction can aid in regaining muscle strength after injury or surgery.

A twitch, on the other hand, turns the muscle on and off quickly. The twitch setting is between 1 and 10 hertz. In a rehabilitation setting, this can encourage the growth of fresh capillary beds, which will increase blood flow to the affected area. Increased blood flow facilitates healing and reduces inflammation. The twitch setting is also involved in endorphin release, which are the hormones that reduce our perception of pain.

Further use of the Electric Muscle Stimulation machine in regards to pain relief includes the TENS, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, setting. TENS can influence an individual’s pain perception through the well known ‘gate-theory”. On the TENS setting, the electrodes stimulate the nerves in the targeted area. These signals block or replace the pain signals sent to the brain. Thus, it temporarily reduces or eliminates the pain the individual is experiencing. Electrical stimulation, mechanical stimulation (eg: massage), heat & cold, and chemical stimulation travel to the brain faster than pain travels.

Various evidence exists that support the incorporation of Compex’s Electric Muscle Stimulation into rehab programs. It can aid in increasing muscular contraction, creating muscle twitches, and reducing pain. It is evidently a valuable mechanism to progress the rehabilitation process.