Shocking Development: Electronic Muscle Stimulation

Electronic muscle stimulation units, or eStim units, are a treatment method that are growing in popularity to combat muscle atrophy and to encourage muscle growth. If you are considering purchasing an eStim unit, then please take the time to read over this article for information on how to properly assess your need.

1. How Do They Work?

Under normal operation, the human brain uses chemicals to send an electronic impulse down a nerve ending in order to cause muscle contraction. The specific method of operation for each type of eStim unit varies, but in general they all send an electronic signal directly into the muscle to stimulate it into action. Muscle contraction exercises the muscle, fighting atrophy and resulting in muscle growth. The action is also similar to a massage, encouraging blood flow through the muscle and soothing aches and pains.

2. Where to Shop

Purchasing an eStim unit does not require any specific license or diagnosed condition and neither does selling it. The specific models do require FDA approval, but once they receive it they can be sold by any vendor. For the best in pricing and potential options, most people will want to consider online vendors due to their highly competitive markets driving prices down. Otherwise, medical supply stores may have options and deals that compete with online marketplaces, and they can often place orders if they do not have a specific model. Also consider consulting with your doctor for any advice they have on acquiring the unit.

3. Features and Add-Ons

When shopping, pay attention to what features the unit has and the additional items that are included with it. Electrode pads, wires, gels, and batteries are all necessary to run the unit. Rechargeable batteries or wall adapters are also great items to look for in a package deal. Exceptional warranties can be a sign of a quality product and are good to look for if you are purchasing the product before testing it. The other major feature to look for is the control the unit gives you over its use. Most modern units will come with intensity controls, but additional features like modes of operation that keep track of the length of sessions are useful for avoiding injuries due to overly extended sessions.

4. Varieties

The exact type of stimulator you will get the most use from depends on what exactly you intend to do with it and any current medical issues. Each variety produces and sends the electronic signal in different ways. Describing the exact operation of each is beyond the scope of this article, but further looks into the differences can help narrow down your search. Otherwise, variations between different units may occur based on where they are intended to be used, but general use eStims are the most common.

5. Customer Reviews

As with any product, looking through the testimonies of others who have purchased and used it can provide useful insights. You should be careful not to base your decision solely on reviews or to consider any one testimony as fact. At their best, reviews can be used to find any significant trends in how useful the unit is. For example, if a unit has half of its reviews stating injuries or malfunctions, it might not be a safe purchase. On the other hand, a unit with overwhelmingly positive reviews may still not be safe in your particular case. For this reason, use reviews to decide between products after your research and consulting confirms the unit matches the specifications you need.

6. Why Use an E-Stim Unit?

The primary medical use of an electronic muscle stimulator is to keep muscles from undergoing atrophy while unable to be moved normally. You can also use the eStim units to support a regular exercise routine, but they should not be used to completely replace one unless absolutely necessary. They are also used to massage muscle groups and encourage weight loss. The FDA does disclaim that no electronic muscle stimulation unit has been scientifically proven to promote weight loss and muscle growth, but the growing use of them within various medical fields points to viable uses. FDA regulation is also supposed to prevent the manufacturers from making claims that have no supporting data.

7. Consult a Trusted Physician

While the stimulation systems are not a drug, diet change, or exercise routine, you should consult with your primary care physician before purchasing and utilizing such a device. They may point you to specific brands that they have found to be worthwhile purchases, help instruct you on proper ways to utilise the units, and they will be able to look at your medical history to determine any hazards related directly to your physiology and conditions. Any alterations to your health choices should be discussed with your physician.

Armed with this knowledge and advice on shopping for a proper eStim unit, you have taken the right steps to purchasing a muscle stimulator and should be able to do so with more confidence. While not the most expensive pieces of equipment, they are intended for medical use and should only be purchased after thorough research.

Author's Bio: 

John Wycliffe is a personal fitness coach. He enjoys helping his clients look and feel their very best, and blogs regularly. Click here for more about toning for women.