EMS therapy

I’m going to chiro for ems therapy on the hamstring, but I don’t think he has it set high enough.

I pulled it kinda bad in October, and I can sprint with it now, but it still doesn’t feel the same. Even though I set a vertical jump PR a week ago(no training…), I still think it’s not 100%.

While my calf felt like it was contracting pretty well(also getting ems for calf and shin issues), the hamstring did not feel like it was contracting much, infact it didnt feel like it was contracting at all after 5 minutes. He said it was set even higher than the calf as well, and was contracting…

How do I know if the setting is too low or too high?

Are you getting ART?

What did your therapist say about the setting being so low?

I’m not sure if I’m getting ART. Basically what happens is first he runs a massager over my back and hamstring, then does pressure points for the lower legs, adjusts back, does ultrasound, then runs the EMS machine.

He just said it should be set at the point where the muscle just starts to twitch and contract. I thought it was supposed to be intense, but it ends up being so mild I get bored(im on it for like 10-15 minutes). He said it stopped contracting because it became acclimated to it, but it wasn’t even such a tough contraction anyways.

I dunno…should I try to convince him to raise the intensity? It’s my word against his degree, so not sure :slight_smile:

High intensities are used for strength purposes, not recovery/regeneration.

I’d be more concerned why more soft tissue work isn’t being done when he is supposed to be a chiro. activerelease.com and find a therapist in your area.

Alright, so you think mild contractions are fine for ems then?

I think he does offer massage actually, and I’m covered for that, so tomorrow I’m going to ask him about it.

Thanks for the link man.

my hams blow away by doing EMS. ithink its because of a higher FT-fiber ratio.

But i think it should be used in pulsing mode, so it doesnt need a strong contraction.

What about the other ham?

I think the “blowing away” also highly depends on the intensity used. I have it done in a mode where every few seconds it reaches a peak.

Other hamstring has never been injured. It doesn’t need therapy.

The injury should be healed by now, since it occurred several months ago. The priority now is to remove any scar tissue adhesions which always form as part of the healing process (ART, Soft Tissue Release, chose your brand name of choice).

The main benefit for EMS at this point is to help activate the muscles which may have been inhibited by the nervous system as a protective response to the injury. Obviously, this requires a gentler contraction than that used for strength training, but you should actually feel the muscle contraction increasing over the time period of the treatment as the motor pathways wake up. That was my experience when I received EMS/acupuncture last year in Toronto.

Yeah we raised the intensity just a little bit and I’m feeling it contract. My hamstring should be healed I guess, because my vertical jump is better than ever without even training much since the injury (but that part sucks…) The thing is, it just feels…different. I’m not sure if this is accurate, but it feels like a lump of muscle at the injury site bulges when I activate the muscle group in a certain way. The left hamstring doesn’t do this at all…

I’m not even sure if it was a tendon injury, because the injury is right where the glute and hamstring tie together

That’s a common injury site. That lump of muscle you feel is what I was talking about. There’s almost definitely scar tissue in there, which causes that spot to be tight. The scar tissue is stiffer than the surrounding soft tissue. There are probably some trigger points in there as well. You need manual therapy to work that out.

I’m getting some manual therapy for it, but I don’t know if it is going to work. Are you supposed to feel pain the next day…because I dont?

Will utrasound have any affect on it?

Sometimes there’s delayed soreness, but it’s not a requirement for effectiveness.

No experience with ultrasound, sorry.

Ah ok.

I’m also thinking of massaging my hamstring as deep as possible and as often as possible on my own. It felt like in some spots, even where I wasnt injured, I was breaking stuff free. If this is true, im guessing that was fascia??

I don’t have a real massage lotion, so I’m just using skin lotion…is this alright?

If you’re trying to get deep you might be better off without lotion or very little. Deep work doesn’t use the more traditional long strokes, and the reduced friction from lotion may make it harder to apply the right pressure at the correct angle, especially if your trying to do it yourself. Your leverage will be compromised enough as it is. Try moving the muscle as you are applying deep pressure which can help break up adhesions.

What do you mean by long strokes, Flash?

You know, typical Swedish massage type strokes. The deep work comprises more stationary pressure.

I see, yes, I agree…

I know we’ve drifted off the topic of EMS, but I highly recommend a book called Soft Tissue Release by Mary Sanderson. It covers the Stuart Taws type soft tissue therapy, which is very similar to ART. Unlike Release Your Pain this book is actually a how to manual, and even includes a pretty thorough section on self-treatment. It’s pretty inexpensive (about $20 US) and concise at just over a hundred pages. I’m still working my way through it but I’ll write a review when I’m done. I think it’s a very good book to use in combination with Release Your Pain, which is good for explaining the etiology of many soft tissue problems.

Could it stand on its own as a “manual”? Because you’ve mentioned it along with “Release your Pain”…
Waiting for your review! :slight_smile:

I was just reading an article on Electrical Muscle Stimulation, in which the author writes on increasing the level of contraction for best results, and uses this description,

“To give you an example of what I mean by cranking it up, my athletes would often have to bite down on a piece of leather or a stick while being “stimmed”. Is it really that painful? Well, it should feel like riding up a very steep and long hill on a bike. That’s the type of “burn” you should feel.”

Does this seem right? The article appears very informative however, just a simple google search --> http://paincontrolproducts.com/ems_electronic_muscl.htm

I’m sure it is all going to depend on recovery, enhancement or rehabilition when applying such “pain”, but im still curious for some knowledgable responses. Thanks:)