Electronic Muscle Stimulation for Athletes
Pain is a common problem for many of us and athletes and sports persons in particular have to live with pain for a significant part of their sporting careers. There are many ways and means by which pain is managed by sports persons.
While anti-inflammatory drugs, sprays and ointments could be used, they may not be always effective. Further these drugs could be fraught with risks of side effects. Hence it is quite common for sports persons to look for alternate methods of pain management and electronic muscle stimulation is often considered to be an option. It is now being commonly used not only for pain management but also to increase muscles strength and also for improving overall performance.
Though the research on this form of pain management is limited, there are reasons to believe that it works reasonably well. Hence let us try and get a better perspective of pain management in the sports arena using electronic muscle stimulation.
What Is This Method Of Treatment Supposed To Do
There are many instances where we see combat athletes having their legs, hands and other parts of the body being massaged by trainers and physiotherapists. If we find out the reason we will come to know that it is done with the main objective of improving circulation and increasing blood flow.
When we talk about electronic muscle stimulation, we also look at something similar. We have thousands of capillaries which are located between the veins and arteries. They are pretty small but blood has to constantly travel through them and it has to be done in single-file.
When sportspersons overuse these joints and veins or when they suffer from injuries, it is quite possible that blood supply to these tiny capillaries could be cut off or could be reduced. This leads to pain, swelling, inflammation and discomfort. When these patients are subjected to electronic muscle stimulation, it is believed that it could help re-start blood supply to the veins and arteries or could increase the flow if it has been reduced.
How They Benefit The Athletes
They could play a big role in repairing the damage caused by workout related stresses or because of damage caused by injuries of various kinds. When damage or stress occurs in the muscles, joints and veins it could lead to loss of nutrition to the affected area. Further there also could be deposit of metabolic waste.
These issues can become a serious problem if left untreated. It is here that going in for electronic muscle stimulation could be useful in more ways than one. They might help in improving blood flow leading to reduced inflammation. There is no denying the fact that inflammation is one of the most important causes of pain.
Hence if inflammation is tackled effectively through electronic stimulation of muscles it certainly could provide the required relief within a short period of time. It could work the same way as ice baths and cold water treatments.
What Makes Them Unique And Different
When we talk about massaging we are referring to a process of internal mechanical action. There are experts who believe that use of electronic muscle stimulation is a combination of both internal and external mechanical action.
It is believed that this mechanical action could lead to twitching of muscles which might be useful in improving blood flow.
Does It Lead To Soreness And Discomfort
When going in for such non-invasive and drug-free methods of treatments, the benefits have to be evaluated vis-à-vis costs. Is there pain and discomfort through such methods of treatments? Yes, there could be some pain but it is quite tolerable, but the benefits accruing from such methods of treatments perhaps outweigh the risks and problems associated with it.
On the other hand there are many who believe in passive recovery or letting the injury, pain or stress heal and recover on its own. While this might be okay for normal persons, sports persons need to be back on action mode as soon as possible. Hence for these groups of persons, choosing electronic muscle stimulations and other such approaches could be a better alternative.
Electronic Muscle Stimulation for Abs
Not just athletes can enjoy electronic muscle stimulation and it doesn't just help with treating pain. You have probably heard of or seen a commercial on TV about ems ab belts. These belts stimulate the ab muscles and if you have any abdominal pain than it might help but it's not it's purpose. These belts are a great way to stimulate the ab muscles which overtime will help strengthen the core and make the abdominal area look toned and all of that without doing any actual exercises.
While not much research has been done, there are many who believe that it does work reasonably well. But the degree of results and benefits will vary from person to person. Hence there are many who believe that it works fine but there could be others who do not believe so. Much more research perhaps needs to be done before getting a clearer picture about electronic muscle stimulation and its benefits.