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Are Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS) Devices Safe For All Ages To Use?

May 16, 2008
Electronic Muscle Stimulation Devices, or EMS devices, create electrical signals that stimulate the nerves. The devices are usually connected to the individual through electrode pads that are adhesive and they are very lightweight and battery-operated, which makes them so portable that they can be used just about anywhere.

Physical therapists and doctors prescribe these devices to reduce or completely avoid muscle atrophy in patients, especially after a surgical procedure or a severe injury. EMS devices are also used in those with paralysis and in anyone who needs to improve their blood circulation, improve their range of motion, or even increase muscle endurance. In addition, EMS devices may be used to relax muscles, re-educate nerves, and also in the management of pain.

As far as the safety of these devices, they are safe as long as they are used as directed. The medical community has used them for years for many of the reasons that were described above. EMS devices are regulated by the FDA, which means they regulate the sale of the many different kinds of EMS devices within the United States. This means that those companies who manufacture EMS devices must comply with regulations set forth by the FDA before they can ever sell their device. Their use is mainly meant for rehabilitation and other medical purposes, however there are bodybuilders using them all of the time to aid in the toning of muscles.

It is very important that the device meets FDA requirements. Doctors may choose to use these devices on children for medical reasons as will sports coaches and chiropractors. However, EMS devices shouldn't be used on children before their mid to late teens unless there is a good medical reason for it. Children are growing and they usually get the necessary exercise to ensure they grow properly. For those who are paralyzed or have encountered a severe injury, a doctor may choose to go ahead with the use of an EMS device, but caution must be taken when doing so.

However, if an EMS device is being used that has not met the requirements of the FDA; it is illegal because that means it could be potentially hazardous. Anyone of any age, with the exception of young children and those in their early teens, can use an EMS device, but it is very important that it is ensured that the device is approved by the FDA.

Nevertheless, for those looking to achieve "six-pack" abs with these devices, that is an unreasonable expectation. EMS devices simply make the muscles contract, which will stimulate the muscles, but the stimulation will not go as far as providing someone with abs that are normally a result of working out at a gym. If the intent behind using these devices is for strengthening and toning, the best results are achieved by combining the EMS device with diet and exercise. Experienced bodybuilders realize this and will still use an EMS device to increase their endurance and their range of motion to avoid injury when enjoying their sport. The electric pulses helps in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscle cells through improved circulation and various toxins are removed from the body as a result.

Despite these health advantages, again, it is not a good idea to use these devices on children unless a doctor deems it necessary for such conditions as paralysis. Furthermore, instructions from the FDA will state that EMS devices should not be used on children and should be used according to their intended use. If used otherwise, the person using the EMS device risks severe injury that could cost them in the long-run.
About the Author
Electronic muscle stimulators are excellent tools that get used World Wide for toning, reshaping, and firming thighs, buttocks, and for maintaining muscle definition. There are also other types of muscle stimulators that can be useful in developing and strengthening muscle, or can be used to in order to control pain.
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