THE MUSCLE ACTIVATION LAB

EMS is short for Electrical Muscle Stimulation, and is the process of using external methods to activate your muscles and replicate the messages sent from your brain. While it sounds intimidating, EMS is actually a very simple process.  The body has approximately 47 miles of neurological pathways that reach out to every part of the body including your muscles.  These pathways go dormant or are switched off with the lack of use of certain muscles.  The muscle activation lab reactivates the muscles and connects them back to the brain so they begin engaging with exercise.  

"If you listen carefully enough, someone will tell you

exactly the kind of person they are.

Sit back, and listen"

Muscle Activation

Re-Activate Muscles using electrical muscle stimulation

EMS is short for Electrical Muscle Stimulation, and is the process of using external methods to activate your muscles and replicate the messages sent from your brain. While it sounds intimidating, EMS is actually a very simple process.

What does EMS do to muscles?

Electrical Muscle Stimulation, also known as E-Stim, or EMS, uses electrical impulses to cause muscles to contract, which in turn helps your muscles become stronger. Your muscles naturally contract in response to electrical signals sent from your brain.

The most common use of electrical stimulation is during physical therapy, especially after injury or surgery on a joint like the knee. Muscle atrophy and poor activation are big problems after knee surgery, so physical therapists will typically use an electrical stimulation unit to cause isometric contractions of the quadriceps in an effort to combat atrophy and assist with voluntary contractions. Electrical stimulation also improves blood flow, which speeds up the healing process.

RECENT STUDY

The aim of the present study was to clarify the effect of electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) on the spatial distribution pattern of electromyographic activity in healthy young adults using multi-channel surface electromyography (SEMG). A total of 32 men (age = 21–26 years) were randomly assigned to the intervention group (n = 18) and control group (n = 14). Participants in the intervention group performed EMS to stimulate the bilateral lower limb muscle for four weeks (20 min/3 days/week). The control group received no EMS intervention. To understand the effects of EMS, the following measurements were made at baseline and four weeks: knee extension torque, muscle mass, and spatial distribution of neuromuscular activation during a target torques [10%, 30%, 50%, and 70% of the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC)] using multi-channel SEMG. The knee extension torque was significantly increased in intervention group compared with control group (p < 0.0001). However, the muscle mass did not show a significant difference between pre and post intervention in each group. The muscle activation patterns of 50% and 70% MVC task showed significant enhancement between baseline and four weeks in the intervention group. Furthermore, a moderate correlation between Δ knee extension torque and Δ spatial distribution pattern of electromyographic activity of 50% and 70% MVC in the intervention group was observed. These results suggested EMS intervention induced different distribution of muscle activity at high-intensity muscle contraction compared with low-intensity muscle contraction.

 

 

Highlights

The electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) interventions can improve muscle performance and muscle thickness.

Participants performed EMS to stimulate the bilateral lower limb.

EMS intervention induced alter motor unit recruitment pattern.

 

RECENT STUDY

The aim of the present study was to quantify the effect of electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) intervention using a portable device on muscle strength and activation patterns in locomotive syndrome. Nineteen women were randomly assigned to the intervention group (n = 10; age = 71-82 years) and control group (n = 9; age = 70-84 years). Participants in the intervention group used a portable EMS device to stimulate the bilateral quadriceps muscles for 8 weeks (23 min/5 days/week). To understand the effects of EMS, the following measurements were made at baseline, 8 weeks, and 12 weeks: locomotive syndrome assessment score, knee extensor strength, vastus lateralis muscle activation patterns during a maximal isometric knee extension contraction using multi-channel surface electromyography, and muscle thickness. The locomotive syndrome assessment, muscle strength, muscle thickness, and muscle activity patterns in the intervention group were significantly different to control after 8 weeks (p < 0.05). However, these results were not sustained at 12 weeks. EMS increased locomotor assessment scores, which were accompanied by enhanced muscle strength, increased muscle thickness, and changes in muscle activation patterns in locomotive syndrome patients. These results suggest that EMS is potentially useful for improving muscle neural activation and force output in locomotive syndrome.