What is Electronic Muscle Stimulation (Stim) and should I be using it?!
The good ol' Stim & Ice
If you are an athlete and have had some kind of muscle stain or pull then you have probably used stim & ice. I was first introduce to stim & ice when I was playing college football. I showed up on campus after having this nagging injury in High School that wouldn't go away. The trainers put me on the table, slapped on some of these pads (like the ones in the picture below), connected the cords to this big machine and turned it on.
My muscles started to fire in a rhythmic pattern without my control and I wasn't exactly sure if this was going to help or not. To my surprise this nagging injury, that bothered me my entire senior year of high school, was gone after a week of stim & ice.
As my career went on, this became standard practice for any muscle strains, tears or pulls. But when my career was over, and I strained a muscle while working out or shooting some hoops, I didn't have the ability to get stim & ice anymore.
So what exactly is Electronic Muscle Stimulation?
EMS uses electrical impulses to cause the contraction of targeted muscle groups. The impulses 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.
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