Electronic muscle stimulators, or EMS devices, are electronic devices that stimulate the muscles. Many bodybuilders use them to speed up muscle repair after a strenuous workout. When they have worked out hard, they get microscopic tears in their muscles and it is the healing of those tears that allows their muscle mass to grow. This would explain why EMS systems are commonly used in preventing muscle atrophy in those who are physically disabled.
For a person who has a disease or has been in an accident that denies them from using certain muscles, those muscles will begin to deteriorate over time. You may notice someone with atrophy in their legs have legs that are smaller than they should be. This is because the muscle is deteriorating away. Along with that muscle mass goes the strength. Although they may not be able to use the atrophied muscles anyway, it is healthy to prolong or eliminate prevent the atrophy from occurring.
Other reasons to prevent atrophy
Another reason in which EMS systems are used to prevent muscle atrophy is the fact that there have been medical breakthroughs that have enabled individuals who have not been able to use their muscles for years to suddenly use them. People who could not so much as stand are standing, so it was important to keep the muscles stimulated. Even if there is no hope of a person being able to utilize those muscles, they still need to be stimulated since medical breakthroughs are happening every single day. One just never knows when they're going to be aware of a new development, so their muscles have to be primed and ready to go.
How an EMS system works
EMS systems involve having more than one electrode placed on the skin. From there, small electronic pulses are emitted, usually by the push of a button. These pulses cause the muscles to contract. The contracting is similar to what is received when exercising. This is the very contraction that is needed to keep the muscles stimulated. It is true that an EMS system can not be connected all of the time, but it is great to have that available at a certain point or at points during the day to make sure the muscles get that bit of "exercise" that they need .
As for the effectiveness, EMS systems are quite effective, which is why so many individuals own them for various different reasons. As stated before, bodybuilders own them to help them in their bodybuilding routines. There are even some who use them to relieve muscle pain. The best way to relieve pain is by stimulating the muscle so that it can heal. If you've ever heard the saying, "Work it out," then you understand how an EMS system can do this. These are all reasons why doctors prescribe them to be used for those with such conditions as Muscular Dystrophy, for paraplegics, and for those who have encountered severe injuries that have resolved in severe muscle damage.
Luckily, EMS systems are not incredibly high investment. Many individuals are able to afford them and every individual can invest in the device that fits their particular needs. Certain ones give off a certain voltage, are different colors, different sizes, come with more or less electrodes, etc. Some may come with one type of electrode while others come with electrodes specifically designed for different areas of the body. But again, they are not very expensive, making EMS systems an easily accessible treatment method for anyone. Anyone with a muscle disorder or injury should invest in an EMS device to improve the quality of their life and to keep up a healthy appearance.