Electrotherapy Benefits: How EMS & TENS Aid in Muscle Recovery

Posted on June 19, 2018


Does electric muscle stimulation or interferential current therapy really work?  Why would I use it or need it? We’ve all suffered from nagging aches and pains and injuries. We’ve also suffered from more severe injuries such as sprains and strains and neurologic issues as well. An excellent therapy to help with rehab and pain control is Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS) and Interferential Current. Both use a unit that emits electrical impulses to the affected area. They are often paired with either heat or ice, depending on what your treatment goals are.  

EMS uses a low volt stimulation to effect and contract motor nerves. This therapy is used to cause muscle contraction and thus muscle strengthening for people suffering from neuromuscular disorders. As well, this therapy uses contraction-relaxation in its impulses and can, therefore, help treat vascular disorders and musculoskeletal conditions and pain. EMS is an excellent choice of treatment for rehabilitation of muscle disease and disorders.

Interferential Current uses two medium pulses that alternate, to penetrate through the more superficial muscle fibers down to the deep ones. These frequencies are effective in blocking pain at the spinal cord level, and also aid in decreasing swelling locally while at the same time increasing blood flow and thus rebuilding nutrients to the area to quicken and promote healing.

TENS units, which many people have at home, work on sensory nerves to decrease pain signals in the brain. TENS is very useful for pain control, relaxation and naturally boosts endorphin levels.

If you are suffering from tight muscles, injured muscles or overused muscles, electrotherapy might be an excellent option for you to help control the pain and get the healing process going.  

Dr. Melissa Wilke, chiropractor, triathlete, soccer coach

Dr. Melissa Wilke, is a board-certified chiropractor, who “gives you the tools to love the body you live in.” She believes that everyone has the power of health within; it is her job to create a better environment for each body to heal themselves. She listens to the needs of each individual and uses a variety of techniques to help them achieve health. The founder of Wilke Chiropractic, Melissa has been treating and helping people for over 16 years. She attended McGill University in Montreal, Canada where she earned her Bachelor in Arts, Psychology, and the National University of Health Sciences where she received her Bachelor’s in Science, Human Biology and her Doctorate of Chiropractic in 2001. She currently lives near Chicago, where she's active in coaching her kids in soccer, running and racing triathlons and traveling with her family as time and opportunity allows. Follow Dr. Melissa on Facebook.