OK, I have to admit, my first posts certainly reflected that there appears to be some efficacy in the use of EMS units in both rehabilitation as well as actual training – improving conditioning.
As I mentioned in the last post, it does require dedication to be consistent and reap benefits from using the EMS device. I have been very diligent in using the EMS and I have logged all my treatments – or should I call them workouts?
I continue to progress with the EMS on my quads. When I started I could barely tolerate the very modest milli-amperage of 16-25. (Jonathan informed me that the usual starting point is 30 or so!)
After 4 weeks I moved to 30 milli-amps. But as of last week I am at 42 milli-amps. It feels good! I feel much stronger and there is no doubt my quads have progressed. I no longer have ANY peri-knee tendonitis issues that I had for months. And those very knee tendon (quad insertion points) were the ones that the physical therapist told me that EMS would NOT help – “so stick with traditional exercises.” In retrospect, I realize in her answer that she was not very familiar with EMS as a treatment and did not want to use it. When I had asked some “whys” the answers were vague and dismissive.
Lesson Learned: Just because you go to a physical therapist it doesn’t mean they are well versed in all modalities and it does not mean they know how to deal with athletes. Choose a PT who has extensive experience with athletes and not just rehabing 85 year olds with hip replacements (like my Dad).
As I related previously, within only a few treatments I noticed a demonstrable difference in decreased discomfort. To my surprise and pleasure that trend has continued.
It is now week seven. I hit a snag a couple weeks ago (just about the time I made the last posts). My Achilles tendonitis acted up in my right leg. So I took time off. I’ll get back at running this week I hope. But I have maintained my EMS treatments throughout.
One thought occurred to me was that perhaps it acted up due to an imbalance of muscles. Though I’ve been doing EMS to my quads there is no such thing as all our muscle groups being completely unconnected. It’s the old, foot-bone connected to the shin-bone; shin-bone connected to the thigh-bone… Imbalances can create a change in running form and yield compensation injuries. My long history of Achilles tendonitis is of course a good predictor of future injuries anyway. Next up, I may also use the EMS on my lower legs. Pretty soon I’ll be hooked up to this thing constantly!
I’ll update everyone on my use of EMS as I continue to rise back through the ranks! I’m coming back… I’m always coming back!