Electric muscle stimulation also referred to as neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), uses electrical signals to stimulate muscle fibers to contract. These muscle contractions increase blood flow as well as nutrient distribution and additionally can recruit more muscle fibers than a standard warm-up or workout.
It is for these reasons that athletes and coaches alike use neuromuscular electric stimulation therapy to help the body to recover faster, increase muscular strength and endurance, and reduce the risk of muscular injuries.
Some other benefits of neuromuscular electrical stimulation therapy include:
1. Stimulates Muscular Blood Flow
Due to the contraction and relaxation cycles of the electrical impulses, the muscle acts as a pump to increase oxygen-rich blood flow into the muscle belly while also helping in metabolite clearance from the muscle.
2. Enhanced Muscular Strength and Power
While EMS is not a viable substitute for strength and power training, it has been proven to be effective at increasing muscular contraction rates and strength in athletes. This can also be beneficial for individuals during rehabilitation stages, as it is a good way to stimulate and reeducate muscle fibers and build strength without high amounts of external loading.
3. Reduced Muscle Pain
With the help of electrical stimulation therapy, athletes can reduce their muscle pain. Hence, they are able to train harder and feel more recovered leading into successive training sessions, furthering performance outcomes.