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muscle stimulator (ems)

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  • muscle stimulator (ems)

    The physiotherapist here in india has suggested to have regular muscle stimulation with EMS at home to my brother who is 6 months post C6 sci.please suggest your views on this on this and also i would like to know which is the best EMS device to use at home.

  • #2
    EMS is quite a radical approach. Why EMS when you can apply acupuncture.


      I would not consider EMS "radial" therapy, as we use it every day for our SCI patients. Many on these forums use it on a regular basis too. Acupunture may help with pain or spasticity, but does not either build or maintain strength.

      There are two basic uses for FES (functional electrical stimulation). One is stimulation of selected muscles which are getting some return, but have a strength of less than 3. In order to use weights or any resistive exercises, a muscle must be at least a 3. We use FES for these muscles to get them from a 1 up to a 3 grade, when we can then use more traditional stengthening exercises. This is usually done with a device that therapists (OTs or PTs) can purchase or already have on-stock in their clinics. They require a prescription to purchase on your own generally (at least in the USA).

      The other use for FES is to use it on muscles below the level of injury to maintain muscle bulk, increase cardiovascular fitness, and provide other health benefits. Those that use this often talk about maintaining their bodies through FES to make rehabilitation easier with either return or a SCI cure. Insurances are less likely to pay for this than the first use, but those who can get funding often find that the emotional advantages of this are very high. Generally this is done with equipment such as the Ergys or StimMaster bike. You can get more information about both on the Exercise forum.

      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.