Are there any special precautions I need to consider before using EMS? | TensCare.co.uk

Are there any special precautions I need to consider before using EMS?

Muscular Atrophy may have many causes - therefore muscle problems must be diagnosed by a medical practitioner before EMS treatment begins.

If you are using EMS to strengthen healthy muscle, take care not to use at too high an intensity and duration until your muscles become accustomed to the work level.

Precautions and Contra-Indications

DO NOT use EMS under the following circumstances:

• You have a heart pacemaker or a serious heart rhythm problem
• On the heads of children under 12
• During the first twelve weeks of pregnancy or at any time on the abdomen during pregnancy
• When driving or operating machinery
• If you have epilepsy - consult your medical advisor prior to using EMS

Pads should NOT be placed:

• On the carotid sinuses located on the front of the neck, or over the eyes
• Across both temples at the same time.
• On broken skin or on areas where normal sensation is absent.
• On the abdomen during pregnancy

Excessive use of high intensity or long periods of usage can cause muscle injury.

Always increase intensity gradually.

If stimulation causes pain reduce intensity or stop treatment.

General Precautions:

• Do not immerse EMS units in water
• Do not place EMS unit close to excessive heat
• Do not attempt to open EMS unit
• Only use the batteries specified on the user manual for each unit. The use of any other type of battery could damage the units
• Remove batteries if the unit is not to be used for a long period of time

Complications:

Complications are rare, but precautions should always be taken.

Please note the following possible complications:

• Allergic reactions to the self-adhesive pads can occur, even though they are hypo-allergenic. If the pads cause irritation, turn off the unit, and remove immediately
• Do not apply to broken or irritated skin
• Do not apply pads to skin that does not have normal sensation. If the skin is numb, stimulation will not be felt and high intensities could cause damage unknowingly

After treatment tingling sensations may continue or your skin may feel numb, this is normal.

Setting the Treatment Time 

Depending upon the muscle group and the patient's status, treatment by EMS can vary between 15–60 minutes of stimulation twice a week, to treatment sessions several times per day. 

Choosing the right intensity

The object of EMS treatment is to produce powerful tetanic muscle contractions.

The strength of the current should be increased above the sensory threshold, to the tolerance level.

The patient often experiences the electrical contraction as more powerful than a voluntary contraction, because of the sensory effect of the current.

The electrical signals have a pain-relieving effect. Patients usually find the sensation uncomfortable to start with, often not reaching the therapeutic intensities required at the start of treatment. The current intensity can be steadily increased during the course of the treatment, as the patient becomes more accustomed to the current. The powerful muscle contractions caused by electrical stimulation may give rise to training aches to begin with, which usually disappear within a week. 

Electrical muscle contractions should be combined with simultaneous voluntary muscular activity to achieve the best results possible. Always seek medical advice before using EMS to ensure you are receiving the best treatment for your condition.

For more information on how EMS works, click here.