What is Electric Muscle Stimulation Therapy?

Electrical stimulation therapy is a type of physical therapy modality used to accomplish various tasks in physical therapy. In an event that you are facing an injury or illness that causes pain or limited functional mobility, your physiotherapist may use electrical stimulation as one part of your rehabilitation program to speed up your recovery process.

What are the benefits of EMS?

There are many benefits to this kind of therapy. To start, it can help reduce edema (swelling) and speed up the healing process of injured or damaged tissues. Electric muscle stimulation can also help reduce chronic pain where other benefits include:

  •  Reduced joint pain and swelling
  • Prevents and reveres muscle atrophy 
  • Enhances rehabilitation of muscles
  • Increases range of motion
  • Reduces stress and discomfort

What to Expect During EMS?

If your physiotherapist decides to use electrical stimulation during your rehab, he or she will explain to you the procedure and the expected risks and benefits as a typical EMS process would go like this:

  1. Expose the area of your body being treated.
  2. Your PT will apply electrodes to your skin. These electrodes are connected via a wire to an EMS machine.
  3. You will feel a slight tingling sensation.
  4. The sensation will be increased until it feels strong but comfortable.
  5. If the EMS is used for muscle spasm or pain relief, you will relax during the treatment.
  6. If the electricity is used to improve muscular strength or function, you may be required to contract your muscle as the machine is working.


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