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Thread: EMS (electro Muscle Stimulation) for petruding abdomen (i.e. quad belly)...

  1. #1

    EMS (electro Muscle Stimulation) for petruding abdomen (i.e. quad belly)...

    Has anyone ever used EMS for their "quad belly". I am getting very frustrated with having dieted and having this "quad belly" develop over the last 3 years. I have been a male paraplegic since age 6 (now I'm 27).

    I don't want to end up looking like a pregnant chicken come age 30, so I'm looking into EMS for my belly or financing a tummy tuck operation.

    Anyone have any success in this area?

    thanks,

    Humantouch0629

  2. #2
    Even if a tummy tuck worked, the results would only be temporary because the muscles would slacken again. You'd also have a very hard time finding a surgeon to perform this procedure because a) the results would be unpredictible, b) complications of autonomic dysreflexia (if you're T6 or higher), and c) a thousand more reasons than I can think of right now.

    As for EMS: This topic has been discussed MANY times (do a search). Even doing a search, however, won't yield any difinitive answer. But from the considerable investigating that I've done in the past, it's doubtful that EMS will in any meaningful way shrink parabelly. (It's kind of like minoxidil and hair loss: at best you may regrow a little fuzz.) It's possible that an EMS program might work prophylactically to stave off parabelly, but once you've got it chances are it's not going to go away.

    Of course, I'd LOVE to be proven wrong.

  3. #3
    Well, I think you could say that the muscles will slacken again is relative to anyone...not just paraplegics. It took 15 years for these to slacken...I can aford a tummy tuck every 15 years.

    As far as dysrelflexia, I have never had a case of dysreflexia in my life...I wouldn't worry about that for me.

    Any other comments or experiences?

  4. #4
    This brings up a really interesting question. We know that we get spasticity of the leg muscles. I suspect that there may be spasticity of the belly muscles as well. If such spasticity can be encouraged, this would increase the tone of the muscles. I just did a literature search on the the subject of abdomenal muscle spasticity and was not able to find any. I wonder if the "para-belly" is more prominent in people who take a higher dose of baclofen.
    Wise.

  5. #5
    Originally posted by Wise Young:

    This brings up a really interesting question. We know that we get spasticity of the leg muscles. I suspect that there may be spasticity of the belly muscles as well. If such spasticity can be encouraged, this would increase the tone of the muscles. I just did a literature search on the the subject of abdomenal muscle spasticity and was not able to find any. I wonder if the "para-belly" is more prominent in people who take a higher dose of baclofen.
    Wise.
    Since I came off baclofen I get a lot more belly spasms and my quad belly seems to be smaller. My pants fit better anyhow!Seems like m balance and posture are better. Lots of benefits for very little problem. Just gotta deal with the occasional full body, back arching, fist clenching spasm.

  6. #6
    I'm almost 19 years post-SCI and baclofen free for the last 10. My leg spasms have become less intense over the years. Paradoxically, my legs have never looked beefier! -- nearly as much muscle mass as pre-injury and I don't do any FES (though I'd like to).

    While abdominal muslce spasticity would probably slim down my waist they tend to be destabilizing when they occur. And low back extensor muscle spasms have the potential of flipping me out of my chair. Kind of "be careful what you wish for . . . "

    Humantouch:You didn't mention what level injury you are, so I felt it important to caution about dysreflexia in the event your level was T6 or higher.

  7. #7
    Very interesting HT. I've been in a wc since childhood too but have only recently experienced quad belly. If the muscles become deenervated at the time of injury, why would the onset of quad belly come after 20+ years? I don't get it. My stomach had always been flat even when sitting, now for the last two years it's been looking flabby and fat. I hate it, it's really screwed with my already poor body image. I used to wear a size 0 - 2 pants which I've had to throw away and replace with size 4's

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