What is Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES):

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) is the use of low-frequency electrical currents to stimulate motor nerves, thereby inducing muscle contractions. It is frequently employed for muscle strengthening, retraining, and rehabilitation.

How does it work?

The therapeutic effects of NMES are achieved through the following mechanisms:

1. Muscle Activation: NMES stimulates motor neurons, which causes muscle contractions and promotes muscle activation, especially when voluntary muscle activation is constrained or inhibited.

2. Muscle Strengthening: The repetitive muscle contractions induced by NMES promote muscle strengthening and prevent muscle atrophy.

Who can take advantage of NMES?

NMES has a variety of clinical applications, including:

  • Rehabilitation following orthopaedic procedures like joint replacements.
  • Muscle strengthening and retraining in neurological conditions such as stroke and spinal cord injuries.
  • Preventing muscle atrophy in bedridden or immobile patients.
  • Athletic injuries and performance enhancements.

Evidence supporting the effectiveness of NMES:

  • According to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (2019), the combination of NMES and voluntary exercise resulted in greater increases in muscle strength than voluntary exercise alone in patients after knee arthroplasty.
  • According to a 2019 study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, NMES enhanced muscle strength and functional performance in athletes with sports-related injuries.

Note: Electrotherapy modalities, such as Interferential Therapy, NMES, TENS, and Ultrasound, play an important role in physiotherapy by alleviating pain, promoting tissue regeneration, and enhancing muscle function. These electrotherapy techniques continue to advance patient care and aid in recovery, based on a firm body of evidence. Please note that although these electrotherapy modalities have demonstrated efficacy, it is essential to consult a qualified healthcare professional or physiotherapist for individualized advice and treatment options.

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