What Is Electrical Muscle Stimulation?

Often referred to as E-STIM or EMS, it is the elicitation of muscle stimulation using electric impulses. We use EMS in our office to help control muscle spasms, reduce pain, promote healing, and improve function. EMS has received an increasing amount of attention for many reasons:

  • It can be utilized as a strength training tool for healthy subjects and athletes
  • It can be used as a rehabilitation and preventive tool for partially or totally immobilized patients
  • It can be utilized as a testing tool for evaluating the neural and/or muscular function
  • It can be used as a post-exercise recovery tool for athletes. 

The impulses of EMS are generated by a device and are delivered through electrodes on the skin near to the muscles being stimulated. The electrodes are generally pads that adhere to the skin. The impulses mimic the action potential that comes from the central nervous system, causing the muscles to contract. The use of EMS has been cited by sports scientists as a complementary technique for sports training, and published research is available.

What Is Therapeutic Ultrasound?

Therapeutic ultrasound is a physiotherapy modality that trasnmits sound waves into the body's soft tissues producing friction and heating effects. It has been shown to cause increases in:

  • Tissue relaxation
  • Local blood flow
  • Scar tissue/adhesion breakdown

The effect of the increase in local blood flow can be used to help reduce local swelling and chronic inflammation, and, according to some studies, promote bone fracture healing. The intensity or power density of the ultrasound can be adjusted depending on the desired effect.

We use this modality in our office with great results in additional to chiropractic care.