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Thread: EMS freaking me out.

  1. #1

    EMS freaking me out.

    I bought a EMS 7000 to use primarily on my abs and chest to help with my quad belly and so on, but it is kind of freaking me out. I have several questions for you guys that have experience with EMS. I have used a FES bike for quite some time but don't have experience with other muscles or ems stim.

    1. It seems like when I first start stimulating my abdomen muscles I can get muscle contraction at around 4.5-5 mA, but soon this power ceases to be sufficient and I have to turn the power up. I have never went above 6, but it seems strange to me that this is happening.

    I'm using the settings:

    RAMP - 1 SEC
    ON - 3 SEC
    OFF - 3 SEC
    WIDTH - 100 uS
    RATE - 61hz

    Do these settings sound correct? I know that it varys with each individual.


    2. Also, it seems like sometimes when I stim my abs it also makes my Back or Leg contract with the pulse. Can Anyone explain this?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Flyarmy64

    1. It seems like when I first start stimulating my abdomen muscles I can get muscle contraction at around 4.5-5 mA, but soon this power ceases to be sufficient and I have to turn the power up. I have never went above 6, but it seems strange to me that this is happening.

    2. Also, it seems like sometimes when I stim my abs it also makes my Back or Leg contract with the pulse. Can Anyone explain this?
    As the muscle begins to fatigue it requires more juice to excite a contraction. The stim isn't so pinpoint that it's only firing on the area you want to target (e.g., abs). The "spillover" spreads to other muscle groups.

    BTW, I know that others have posted about the EMS 7000 but judging from its specs I don't think it has nearly sufficient enough output (only 80mA) to get the results you're looking for.

    Here's something I found on the Web:

    From a beginning use of EMS, here is what I've figured out and discovered.


    1) If you are going to get an EMS unit, get a combo EMS/TNS.
    Don't get a toy; 150mA is probably a minimal maximum output,
    although, to date, 75% power level is the most that I've
    been able to use.


  3. #3
    Thanks stephen212 for the info, I will try more juice.

  4. #4
    Here's how I have mine set up:
    RAMP - 2 SEC
    ON - 10 SEC
    OFF - 15 SEC
    WIDTH - 260 uS
    RATE - 35hz

    This is what was recommended out of rehab, I'm sure the on/off/ramp variables are subjective...

  5. #5
    I agree with Alpentalic's settings. Generally you see a better, more tolerated muscle contraction with a pulse width of 250 microseconds or greater (I like 300). A pulse width of less than 150 is generally used as a conventional TENs setting for pain management (gaiting mechanism). The same thing occurs if you have a low frequency or pulse per second rate (acupuncture like TENs for pain via central mechanism).
    Wildwilly
    “As the cast of villains in SCI is vast and collaborative, so too must be the chorus of hero's that rise to meet them” Ramer et al 2005

  6. #6
    Okay. I see talk on here about Tens units and talk about NMES. What are the differences between them?

    If I were to try going out and buying one (which seems easier than trying to deal with my insurance), what am I looking for?

    I know this is probably all been discussed before, but this is the most recent thread that I've seen talking about it.

  7. #7
    I would like to try to explain the different types of electrical stimulation. Functional electrical stimulation (FES), Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), and Tens (Transcutaneous electrical stimulation) are all forms of transcutaneous electrical stimulation. The only difference is the parameters that are used. Most units’ use alternating current (safer with decreased chance of skin irritation). Some units can alter the wave’s type, form, the length of the wave, the pulse of the wave, the frequency of the wave... By altering these parameters I can address pain, edema, and or neuromuscular re-education. A lot of companies are finally producing units in which the parameters can be altered and thus the unit can be used for multiple purposes. The term TENS generally indicates parameters for pain relief (versus a muscle contraction). Electrical stimulation developed a bad name for some time due to everyone giving units different names and claiming that it could cure just about anything. I believe it is an effective modality that is under utilized. In the past I have found that Insurance Co generally cover various e-stim units when they are prescribe for pain (generally a TENs unit). The key is to make sure that the parameters are adjustable and have the range to address pain or elicit a muscle contraction. I attached an in-service document I created that contains a more detailed description of electrotherapy and the parameters.

    Wildwilly
    “As the cast of villains in SCI is vast and collaborative, so too must be the chorus of hero's that rise to meet them” Ramer et al 2005

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpentalic
    Here's how I have mine set up:
    RAMP - 2 SEC
    ON - 10 SEC
    OFF - 15 SEC
    WIDTH - 260 uS
    RATE - 35hz

    This is what was recommended out of rehab, I'm sure the on/off/ramp variables are subjective...
    For the abs, where do you place the pads? And what size pads do you use and how many? I would like to get my sister to try this and see if it helps with her weak abs. She has all kinds of programs set up by her OT and PT for deltiods, scapula, hands, etc, but nothing for the abs.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    I tried my TENS unit on my abs last nite, no movement, but I sure get all kinds of weird 'feelings' below the pads, especially in my feet. Gotta do more 'sperimentin with them, lol.
    I am waiting on my pain to kick in so I can try it on that, but I'm in no hurry to hurt

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