Cefar Rehab X2
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The Cefar Rehab X2 comes with Cefar Easy Touch and a preset program with comfortable stimulation.
EMS is different from TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Perhaps the main aim of TENS therapy is to relieve pain. Many of the portable TENS units commonly sold in medical supply stores have this as their main goal. The electrical signals used for this purpose are known technically as transcutaneous signals. Some of the advantages of TENS are that it is non-invasive, inexpensive and self-administered.
EMS, on the other hand, is mainly used to improve muscle function during the rehabilitation process. Its use in rehabilitation focuses on prevention of muscle atrophy and/or building muscle fibers. This is useful in reversing muscle atrophy that can occur during prolonged disuse of muscles after experiencing an injury.
EMS is also commonly known as Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMEMS). It differs from transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which instead focuses on the use of electrical signals for pain reduction.
In NMEMS, high-intensity electrical impulses are used to stimulate peripheral nerves. This, in turn, leads to a muscle contraction. NMEMS is widely used in sports medicine for muscle toning purposes. It can help injured athletes return to their normal level of fitness as soon as possible. Examples of scenarios where EMS is used to stimulate a muscle or maintain muscle tone are after a stroke, to contract the pelvic floor muscles as a treatment for urinary incontinence and to stimulate the thigh muscles to increase strength after surgery.
Within the broad category of electrical muscle stimulation, there are several subtypes. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
Below, we will attempt to answer some of the more common questions about this form of rehabilitation and muscle toning therapy.
We would suggest making an appointment with a physical therapist for this purpose. They are trained in many types of pain management & rehabilitation therapies. They can evaluate your injury and advise on whether EMS can be a successful part of your physical therapy.
The transcutaneous signals produced by TENS units are usually strong enough to penetrate the skin and relieve your pain. However, they are usually not sufficient to produce muscle contractions. The intention is to stimulate the nerves for pain relief purposes.
EMS signals, on the other hand, aim to stimulate the muscles instead of the nerves. they therefore penetrate more deeply into the body in order to reach and treat atrophied muscle fibres.
NMEMS works by exploiting the tendency of a healthy central nervous system to produce a muscle contraction in response to an electrical signal. It has been used to treat a wide range of medical problems, including:
According to a study published by the Journal of Strength & Conditioning, EMS devices can improve fitness levels of healthy athletes. Even athletes with high levels of fitness can derive significant benefit from EMS or NMEMS.
Strength training normally works by using voluntary muscle contractions to build muscle tissue. The contractions produced by an EMS unit are involuntary. However, the body will still react in the same way as to a voluntary contraction.
In addition to improving strength and fitness among healthy individuals, there may be benefits to overweight individuals.
A study was published in 2015 on the impact of high frequency current on female abdominal obesity. This study concluded that it caused significant reductions in several metrics of obesity. These included waist circumference, subcutaneous fat mass and body fat percentage.
However, we should point out that these conclusions are not universally accepted. For example, the US FDA currently refuses to certify EMS devices that claim to offer weight reduction benefits.
EMS & NMEMS devices are closely regulated in the US. In general, they are divided into two categories for regulatory purposes – over the counter (OTC) and prescription.
Generally speaking, OTC devices may only be marketed as offering muscle toning benefits.
Prescription devices are only obtainable with a prescription from a qualified medical practitioner (e.g. a physical therapist). In addition, they must be used under the supervision of such a practitioner.
When used under this supervision, EMS therapy can be aimed at providing a wider range of benefits, including (but not limited to):
In general, we recommend you consult with your medical advisor before embarking on any form of EMS therapy.
However, the following individuals should be particularly wary about using NMEMS or EMS devices for any purpose:
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