The effects of whole body EMS on reducing lower back pain
Whole-body EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) is quickly becoming popular as a time-efficient type of training that can cut down on hours at the gym while still giving you the benefits of traditional exercise. A 20-minute EMS session can improve your muscle structure and strength to roughly the same extent as four hours of weight training.
 Importantly, the benefits of whole-body EMS aren’t just limited to fitness – there’s also plenty of scientific evidence that it can help improve physical health conditions like lower back pain (LBP). Let’s have a look at what the research says.

How Whole-Body EMS Can Help Reduce Lower Back Pain
You’ve probably heard of chronic lower back pain – maybe you’ve even experienced it yourself. It’s one of the world’s most common health conditions, with roughly 80% of people suffering from it at some point in their lives. There are lots of different reasons for LBP, like lifting heavy objects in the wrong way and bad posture, so often it’s difficult for medical professionals to work out the exact cause.

This makes finding alternatives to surgery important for people affected by chronic LBP (who often also can’t participate in traditional exercise). Whole-body EMS combines the best of both worlds, delivering a time-friendly therapeutic workout. Here’s the science.

A 2017 study found that 16-25 minutes of whole-body EMS per week helped reduce lower back pain intensity by an average of 87%, and reduced lower back pain frequency by an average of 64%. The best part? The whole-body EMS sessions produced better results than traditional therapeutic exercises, and took less time to complete.

A 2018 study offered the same results. Over six months, whole-body EMS significantly decreased lower back pain intensity, and resulted in roughly +15% lower back extensor strength, maximum back isometric strength and abdominal strength. These results were compared to a control group who only used traditional exercise techniques.

A third study from 2019 found that whole-body EMS and traditional exercises reduced lower back pain by roughly the same amount, although the study’s authors noted that whole-body EMS had many benefits over traditional exercise.

So what happens if you combine traditional exercise with a whole-body EMS workout? A 2001 study did exactly that. Guess what they found? Using EMS with traditional exercise improved strength, reduced pain and improved function better than traditional exercise on its own.

Whole-Body EMS Works For People With Limited Mobility And Kinesiophobia

A big problem with using recovery techniques like stretching are conditions like limited mobility and kinesiophobia (fear of movement), which often go hand-in-hand with LBP. These conditions can limit the range and quality of therapeutic exercises, making recovery slower and much more difficult.

Whole-body EMS is one way to work around that problem. The electrical impulses that activate your muscle fibres allow you to experience many of the EMS benefits without moving, which, in turn, can make recovery much faster and more effective if you have limited mobility or kinesiophobia.