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EMS Electrical Muscle Stimulation instead of exercise?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by RUkiddingME, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. RUkiddingME

    RUkiddingME Senior Member

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    Has anyone ever tried EMS to keep their muscles in shape when unable to exercise?? Does it cause a lactic acid build up and relapse as if we were to exercise? I bought a Slendertone belt to try around my waist since my back muscles have become so weak and would like to strengthen my core muscles. I also have the sensors to wear on any muscles and I was going to try it on my calf muscles since they have atrophied a lot in the last few years. I don't want to make myself worse but thought that maybe it could be beneficial since the heart rate doesn't go up and I can use it laying down. Any ideas?
  2. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    I have a RS-4i that delivers Interferential current for relieving pain or I can set it for muscle stimulation only. Based on guidance from the sales rep the use of the muscle stimulation setting was something that you start slow and go slow which is pretty much our trade mark.

    What he meant by that was that you only turn the stimulation up to where you can feel a muscle contraction, but not see one. Or to the point where the first setting that you see and feel a contraction

    You only do it for 5 mins the first time and than add 2 minutes the 2nd time. On the 3rd time you may boost the stimulation up by one setting, but drop back down to 5 mins.

    The device you may be looking at could very different, but to answer your original question is that you can set it and use it in ways such that you will not get any lactic acid build up.

    When I go through periods of my neck and calves hurting, this RS-4i is made of gold as far as I'm concerned.

    The only way I was able to get one of these was through my workers comp after a motor vehicle accident, which I also got a low back garment and a upper back garment. I also got really good "Saunders" cervical traction unit that works very well. I got tired filling that great big bag of water and hanging it over a door.
    RUkiddingME likes this.
  3. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I tried a Slendertone but it was both painful for me to use and caused weakness and more pain later.
    RUkiddingME likes this.
  4. knackers323

    knackers323 Senior Member

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    Have any studies been done by stimulating the muscle this way?
    It would tell us a bit about the nature of our fatigue, wouldn't it?
    RUkiddingME likes this.
  5. RUkiddingME

    RUkiddingME Senior Member

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    Thanks everyone for your help!!! I will try and start at the lowest setting for a short period and wait three days and see if it affects me in a negative way. I am currently unable to tolerate exercise and able to walk about 100 steps in a row on a good day. (100% better than last year when I was still completely bed ridden) :thumbsup: Thanks Valcyte!!
  6. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Dr Terry Wahls used electric stem. I used to have a tens unit and loved it. The ones used in pt always worked great on me too.

    I've found that using electric blankets or throws keep my muscles looser too.

    I have no idea if just staying warm keeps lactic acid down but my muscles aren't as tight if I use these.

    tc .. x
    RUkiddingME likes this.
  7. Hell...Hath...No...Fury..

    Hell...Hath...No...Fury.. Senior Member

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    I was going to ask on here if there'd ever been studies done using slendertone type devices after seeing one on tv the other day. I totally forgot that i tried it about ten years ago.
    My muscles weren't wasted at the time of using it but it really hurt even on lower settings and even though lying completely flat, it still caused pain afterwards and the same PEM as if I'd done normal activity/exercise. I've never heard of any tests or research being done using this type of device, it could be interesting.
    xchocoholic and RUkiddingME like this.
  8. SDSue

    SDSue Florida

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    @RUkiddingME and @xchocoholic I'm curious how you've done over time with the EMS? I have a TENS unit and wonder if it's worth trying. Thanks.
    xchocoholic likes this.
  9. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    I used mine most days between 1990? - 2000? but then it started zapping me .. ouch ... so I stopped. I remember having an allergic reaction to the pads / adhesive too. Also if I sweated the pads would lose their adhesive abilities and slip.

    I'd like to try one again but I need to look for a hypo allergenic version. Mine had 4 pads, 2 on each line, which worked great.

    My car insurance company provided mine because I'd been in 2 car accidents resulting in whiplash injuries back to back 9 months prior to getting me/cfs. Eventually my neck and shoulders didn't hurt unless I cooked a big meal, lifted something heavy, etc.

    Good luck with this. X
    SDSue likes this.
  10. SDSue

    SDSue Florida

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    @xchocoholic Mine burned me the last time I used it. Yikes! I think it's because the pads were too old and no longer had good contact, but I've been afraid to try again. :eek:
    xchocoholic likes this.
  11. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic Senior Member

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    Yikes. I thought getting zapped was bad.

    Do you have anyone you can ask about that ? I think I ended up giving mine to a guy who liked to tinker with electronics.

    I saw new ones starting $40 ? But because of the problems I had and now hearing about yours I'd like to speak to someone who understands these. I got my last one from my chiropractor.

    Tc .. x
    SDSue likes this.
  12. John Mac

    John Mac

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    RUkiddingME asked
    "Has anyone ever tried EMS to keep their muscles in shape when unable to exercise?? Does it cause a lactic acid build up and relapse as if we were to exercise?"

    Prof Newton's study at Newcastle on muscle cells might give a clue.

    From the Me association website:
    http://www.meassociation.org.uk/201...ope-for-me-sufferers-the-times-23-april-2013/

    "In the study, scientists took muscle biopsies from ten patients and ten healthy but sedentary volunteers.
    The muscle cells were grown into small pieces of muscle and then subjected to “exercise” in the form of electrical impulses.
    The cells from ME patients produced on average 20 times as much acid when exercised, suggesting an underlying cause for the aching muscles that patients often experience as soon a they begin to exercise.
    The cells also showed other abnormalities, such as reproducing more slowly.
    “We have found very real abnormalities”, said Professor Newton."
  13. Hell...Hath...No...Fury..

    Hell...Hath...No...Fury.. Senior Member

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    I'm currently waiting to see Professor Newton so i might ask her about this when i see her.
    That deffo fits in with how the machines caused me to relapse when lying perfectly still.
    Its a shame we can't all do the muscle biopsy.
    SDSue likes this.
  14. RUkiddingME

    RUkiddingME Senior Member

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    I have not been using it regularly. I was using the slendertone belt to try to get a stronger core but I did find it tiring as is is somewhat equivalent to doing sit ups. I hope to try again if I gain a higher functioning level. At the moment I stick to just doing activities of daily living when I can. ;)
  15. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @RUkiddingME This is related but slightly off topic. Dr. Enlander in NY (I have never seen him but watched interviews and read about it) used EECP off-label for kind of a similar reason. I was going to do a phone consult with him and try the technique as it seemed to help many people with ME/CFS and is also a passive form of exercise. Thus far I have not tried it but will post about it if I ever do. No one currently on the board (that I know of) has tried it but when I did a google site search several prior members had success with it.
  16. RUkiddingME

    RUkiddingME Senior Member

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    thank you! I had never heard of it and just watched Dr. Enlander's video on it. Very interesting indeed! I can't wait to hear how you do on it. I just found a naturopath clinic in Canada who does it for heart patients but would love to know the treatment protocol that Dr. Enlander uses for ame/CFS;)
  17. RUkiddingME

    RUkiddingME Senior Member

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    P.S. I just found the EECP treatment plan at a local Naturopath for heart patients. One hour a day for five days a week for a total of 35 hours and benefits can be felt for up to three years. I know my body would not tolerate that much action lol.
  18. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @RUkiddingME I wanted to clarify that I am not starting EECP treatment at this time and never did the phone consult with Dr Enlander (once I got an appt with a specialist in my own state.)

    My ND and cardiologist both felt the EECP would be okay for me but that it is off label for CFS so they did not know if it would help me.

    I spoke with Dr. Enlander's nurse (about a month ago when I was researching this treatment) and she said that his patients only did the treatment 1-2x per week (not five days per week for 35 hours as is authorized in standard treatment for patients with angina.)

    I found a local place where I could have done the treatment (and if I paid private vs. insurance, I could have done the number of hours that I wanted) but decided to put the entire idea on hold until I see the specialist in about a week and get his opinion of it. I'm expecting that he will not be familiar with it as Dr. Enlander seems to be the main ME/CFS doctor who is endorsing it off label.

    If I ever do try it, I will give a full report here on the board but it will not be any time soon!
    RUkiddingME likes this.

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