Exercise is vital for rehabilitation and recovery in most conditions and in patients who struggle to breathe this component of rehabilitation can pose a huge challenge. TEMS therapy for COPD could aid in recovery by improving muscle strength, performance and the ability to exercise.
Study on TEMS therapy for COPD
A study published in Thorax in 2002 showed that transcustaneous electrical muscle stimulation in patients with COPD helped to improve muscle strength, muscle mass and performance. These improvements could support improved rehabilitation in these patients. The therapy was well tolerated in most patients with less than a 5% drop-out rate in the study.
Improvements noted included quadriceps strength improvement of 20% versus 7% in the untreated group, hamstring strength improvement of 13% versus 4.7% in the untreated group and this resulted in a 36% improvement in the shuttle walk test in the treated group versus a 1.6% improvement in the untreated group.
The study concluded that use of TEMS in peripheral muscles of patients could be a useful adjunctive treatment for patients suffering from COPD.
TENS and PEMF therapy can also be useful in reducing pain and inflammation and TENS therapy in particular has been found to support arthritis and osteoarthritis patients. TENS and PEMF therapy can also be useful for reducing inflammation.
To read the summary of the study on TEMS therapy for COPD, click here.