Feasibility and Safety of Whole-Body Electromyostimulation in Frail Older People-A Pilot Trial.
ABSTRACT: Whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) induces high-intense stimuli to skeletal muscles with low strain on joints and the autonomic nervous system and may thus be suitable for frail, older people. However, if trained at very high intensities, WB-EMS may damage muscles and kidneys (rhabdomyolysis). This study aimed at investigating the feasibility, safety and preliminary efficacy of WB-EMS in frail, older people. Seven frail (81.3 ± 3.5 years), 11 robust (79.5 ± 3.6 years), 10 young (29.1 ± 6.4 years) participants completed an eight-week WB-EMS training (week 1-4: 1x/week; week 5-8: 1.5x/week) consisting of functional exercises addressing lower extremity strength and balance. Feasibility was assessed using recruitment, adherence, retention, and dropout rates. The satisfaction with WB-EMS was measured using the Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale for older adults (PACES-8). In week 1, 3, and 8 creatine kinase (CK) was assessed immediately before, 48 and 72 h after WB-EMS. Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis (muscle pain, muscle weakness, myoglobinuria) and adverse events were recorded. Functional capacity was assessed at baseline and after 8 weeks using the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), Timed Up-and-Go Test (TUG), Choice Stepping Reaction Time Test (CSRT), 30-second Chair-Stand Test (30-STS), maximum isometric leg strength and handgrip strength. The recruitment rate of frail individuals was 46.2%, adherence 88.3% and the dropout rate 16.7%. All groups indicated a high satisfaction with WB-EMS. CK activity was more pronounced in young individuals with significant changes over time. Within older people CK increased borderline-significantly in the frail group from baseline to week 1 but not afterwards. In robust individuals CK increased significantly from baseline to week 1 and 3. No participant reached CK elevations close to the threshold of ≥5,000 U/l and no symptoms of rhabdomyolysis were observed. With the exception of the TUG (p = 0.173), frail individuals improved in all tests of functional capacity. Compared to the young and robust groups, frail individuals showed the greater improvements in the SPPB, handgrip strength, maximum isokinetic hip-/knee extension and flexion strength. WB-EMS is feasible for frail older people. There were no clinical signs of exertional rhabdomyolysis. WB-EMS proved to be sufficiently intense to induce meaningful changes in functional capacity with frail individuals showing greater improvements for several measures.
Project description:Whole-body electro-myo-stimulation (WB-EMS) has been introduced as an alternative to physical training. Data about side effects and contraindications of WB-EMS are summarised. From healthy subjects, elevation of creatine-kinase (CK) activity with inter-individual variability was reported after WB-EMS. No data about applied current types, stimulation frequency and risk factors were given. In randomised trials investigating WB-EMS, CK activity was not measured. Seven cases of rhabdomyolysis after WB-EMS were found, and it remains open whether WB-EMS was the only risk factor. In healthy subjects, WB-EMS does not seem to affect blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen uptake. The lists of exclusion criteria are, in part, contradictory between different studies, especially regarding malignancy and heart failure. Risk factors for rhabdomyolysis are not mentioned as contraindications for WB-EMS. Scientific research should concentrate on muscle damage as a side effect of WB-EMS considering current types applied, stimulation frequency and risk factors for rhabdomyolysis. Research about WB-EMS should include longitudinal muscle force measurements and MRI. Subjects, intending to perform WB-EMS, should undergo investigations by a physician comprising a screen for risk factors for rhabdomyolysis. The education of operators working in gyms with WB-EMS should be regulated and improved. Regulatory authorities should become aware of the problem. Those working in the field should start an initiative on an international level to increase the safety of WB-EMS.
Project description:Purpose:Whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) especially in combination with a high-protein supplementation has been established as an efficient treatment against sarcopenia. However, there are several case reports of rhabdomyolysis after WB-EMS application. Thus, we asked if this training could potentially lead to deteriorations of the cardiac as well as the renal function. Materials and Methods:One hundred sarcopenic obese men aged 70 years and older were randomly balanced (1-1-1) and allocated to one of the three study arms. During 16 weeks of intervention, these groups either performed WB-EMS and took a protein supplement (WB-EMS&P), solely received the protein supplement (Protein) or served as control group (CG). WB-EMS consisted of 1.5×20 min (85 Hz, 350 ?s, 4 s of strain to 4 s of rest) applied with moderate-to-high intensity while moving. We further generated a daily protein intake of 1.7-1.8 g/kg/body mass per day. At baseline and 8-10 days after completion of the intervention, blood was drawn and biomarkers of muscle, cardiac and renal health were assessed. Results:Hereby, we found slight but significant elevations of creatine kinase (CK) levels in the WB-EMS group pointing to minor damages of the skeletal muscle (140 U/l [81-210], p < 0.001). This was accompanied by a significant, low-grade increase of creatine kinase-muscle brain (CK-MB, 0.43 ng/mL [-0.29-0.96], p < 0.01) and high-sensitivity troponin T (hsTnT, 0.001 ng/mL. [0.000-0.003], p < 0.001) but without a higher risk of developing heart failure according to N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP, -5.7 pg/mL [-38.8-24.6], p = 0.17). Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was impaired neither by the high-protein supplementation alone nor in combination with WB-EMS (CG 76.0 mL/min/1.73 m2 [71.9-82.2] vs Protein 73.2 mL/min/1.73 m2 [63.0-78.9] vs WB-EMS&P 74.6 mL/min/1.73 m2 [62.8-84.1], p = 0.478). Conclusion:In conclusion, even in the vulnerable group of sarcopenic obese seniors, the combination of WB-EMS with a high-protein intake revealed no short-term, negative impact on the eGFR, but potential consequences for the cardiovascular system need to be addressed in future studies.
Project description:Background: Whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) gained increasing interest in sports within recent years. However, few intervention studies have examined the effects of WB-EMS on trained subjects in comparison to conventional strength training. Objective: The aim of the present mini-meta-analysis of 5 recently conducted and published randomized controlled WB-EMS trails of our work group was to evaluate potentially favorable effects of WB-EMS in comparison to conventional strength training. Methods: We included parameter of selected leg muscle's strength and power as well as sprint and jump performance. All subjects were moderately trained athletes [>2 training sessions/week, >2 years of experience in strength training; experimental group (n = 58): 21.5 ± 3.3 y; 178 ± 8 cm; 74.0 ± 11 kg; control group (n = 54): 21.0 ± 2.3 y; 179.0 ± 9 cm; 72.6 ± 10 kg]. The following WB-EMS protocols were applied to the experimental group (EG): 2 WB-EMS sessions/week, bipolar current superimposed to dynamic exercises, 85 Hz, 350 ?s, 70% of the individual pain threshold amperage. The control groups (CG) underwent the same training protocols without WB-EMS, but with external resistance. Results: Five extremely homogenous studies (all studies revealed an I 2 = 0%) with 112 subjects in total were analyzed with respect to lower limb strength and power in leg curl, leg extension and leg press machines, sprint-and jump performance. Negligible effects in favor of WB-EMS were found for Fmax of leg muscle groups [SMD: 0.11 (90% CI: -0.08, 0.33), p = 0.73, I 2 = 0%] and for CMJ [SMD: 0.01 (90% CI: -0.34, 0.33), p = 0.81, I 2 = 0%]. Small effects, were found for linear sprint [SMD: 0.22 (90% CI: -0.15, 0.60), p = 0.77, I 2 = 0%] in favor of the EMS-group compared to CON. Conclusion: We conclude that WB-EMS is a feasible complementary training stimulus for performance enhancement. However, additional effects on strength and power indices seem to be limited and sprint and jump-performance appear to be benefiting only slightly. Longer training periods and more frequent application times and a slightly larger stimulus could be investigated in larger samples to further elucidate beneficial effects of WB-EMS on performance parameters in athletes.
Project description:High-intensity (resistance) exercise (HIT) and whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) are both approaches to realize time-efficient favorable changes of body composition and strength. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of WB-EMS compared with the gold standard reference HIT, for improving body composition and muscle strength in middle-aged men. Forty-eight healthy untrained men, 30-50 years old, were randomly allocated to either HIT (2 sessions/week) or a WB-EMS group (3 sessions/2 weeks) that exercised for 16 weeks. HIT was applied as "single-set-to-failure protocol," while WB-EMS was conducted with intermittent stimulation (6?s WB-EMS, 4?s rest; 85?Hz, 350?ms) over 20 minutes. The main outcome parameters were lean body mass (LBM) as determined via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and maximum dynamic leg-extensor strength (isokinetic leg-press). LBM changes of both groups (HIT 1.25 ± 1.44% versus WB-EMS 0.93 ± 1.15%) were significant (p = .001); however, no significant group differences were detected (p = .395). Leg-extensor strength also increased in both groups (HIT 12.7 ± 14.7%, p = .002, versus WB-EMS 7.3 ± 10.3%, p = .012) with no significant (p = .215) between-group difference. Corresponding changes were also determined for body fat and back-extensor strength. Conclusion. In summary, WB-EMS can be considered as a time-efficient but pricy option to HIT-resistance exercise for people aiming at the improvement of general strength and body composition.
Project description:Whole-body electromyostiulation (WB-EMS) has experienced a boom in recent years, even though its effectiveness is controversial. A sedentary lifestyle is deeply rooted in the European population, mainly in the elderly. This experimental study analyzed the impact of WB-EMS on the physical fitness of postmenopausal women. Thirty-four healthy sedentary women between 55 and 69 years followed an experimental design pre-post-test. Both groups conducted a ten-week aerobic and strength training program. The experimental group overlaid the WB-EMS during exercise. At the end of the intervention, both groups improved upper and lower body strength, lower extremity flexibility, agility, and speed levels (pBonferroni < 0.05). Significant interactions were observed at upper and lower body strength, agility, speed, and cardiovascular endurance (p < 0.05). The WB-EMS group scored better agility than the control group at the end of the intervention (pBonferroni < 0.05) and was the only group that improved cardiovascular endurance. WB-EMS shows a favorable isolate effect on the development of dynamic leg strength, agility, and cardiovascular endurance but did not in dynamic arm strength, gait speed, balance, or flexibility of postmenopausal women.
Project description:The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of dynamic superimposed submaximal whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) training on maximal strength and power parameters of the leg muscles compared with a similar dynamic training without WB-EMS. Eighteen male sport students were randomly assigned either to a WB-EMS intervention (INT; n = 9; age: 28.8 (SD: 3.0) years; body mass: 80.2 (6.6) kg; strength training experience: 4.6 (2.8) years) or a traditional strength training group (CON; n = 9; age: 22.8 (2.5) years; body mass: 77.6 (9.0) kg; strength training experience: 4.5 (2.9) years). Both training intervention programs were performed twice a week over a period of 8 weeks with the only difference that INT performed all dynamic exercises (e.g., split squats, glute-ham raises, jumps, and tappings) with superimposed WB-EMS. WB-EMS intensity was adjusted to 70% of the individual maximal tolerable pain to ensure dynamic movement. Before (PRE), after (POST) and 2 weeks after the intervention (FU), performance indices were assessed by maximal strength (Fmax) and maximal power (Pmax) testing on the leg extension (LE), leg curl (LC), and leg press (LP) machine as primary endpoints. Additionally, vertical and horizontal jumps and 30 m sprint tests were conducted as secondary endpoints at PRE, POST and FU testing. Significant time effects were observed for strength and power parameters on LE and LC (LE Fmax +5.0%; LC Pmax +13.5%). A significant time × group interaction effect was merely observed for Fmax on the LE where follow-up post hoc testing showed significantly higher improvements in the INT group from PRE to POST and PRE to FU (INT: +7.7%, p < 0.01; CON: +2.1%). These findings indicate that the combination of dynamic exercises and superimposed submaximal WB-EMS seems to be effective in order to improve leg strength and power. However, in young healthy adults the effects of superimposed WB-EMS were similar to the effects of dynamic resistance training without EMS, with the only exception of a significantly greater increase in leg extension Fmax in the WB-EMS group.
Project description:Whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) has been shown to be effective in increasing muscle strength and mass in elderly women. Because of the interaction of muscles and bones, these adaptions might be related to changes in bone parameters. 76 community-living osteopenic women 70 years and older were randomly assigned to either a WB-EMS group (n = 38) or a control group (CG: n = 38). The WB-EMS group performed 3 sessions every 14 days for one year while the CG performed gymnastics containing identical exercises without EMS. Primary study endpoints were bone mineral density (BMD) at lumbar spine (LS) and total hip (thip) as assessed by DXA. After 54 weeks of intervention, borderline nonsignificant intergroup differences were determined for LS-BMD (WB-EMS: 0.6 ± 2.5% versus CG -0.7 ± 2.5%, P = .051) but not for thip-BMD (WB-EMS: -1.1 ± 1.9% versus CG: -0.8 ± 2.3%, P = .771). With respect to secondary endpoints, there was a gain in lean body mass (LBM) of 1.5% (P = .006) and an increase in grip strength of 8.4% (P = .000) in the WB-EMS group compared to CG. WB-EMS effects on bone are less pronounced than previously reported effects on muscle mass. However, for subjects unable or unwilling to perform intense exercise programs, WB-EMS may be an option for maintaining BMD at the LS.
Project description:Whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS), an innovative training technology, is considered as a joint-friendly, highly customizable and particularly time-effective option for improving muscle strength and stability, body composition and pain relief. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of 16 weeks of once-weekly WB-EMS on maximum isometric trunk (MITS), leg extensor strength (MILES), lean body mass (LBM) and body-fat content. A cohort of 54 male amateur golfers, 18 to 70 years old and largely representative for healthy adults, were randomly assigned to a WB-EMS (<i>n</i> = 27) or a control group (CG: <i>n</i> = 27). Bipolar low-frequency WB-EMS combined with low-intensity movements was conducted once per week for 20 min at the participants' locations, while the CG maintained their habitual activity. The intention to treat analysis with multiple imputation was applied. After 16 weeks of once-weekly WB-EMS application with an attendance rate close to 100%, we observed significant WB-EMS effects on MITS (<i>p</i> < 0.001), MILES (<i>p</i> = 0.001), LBM (<i>p</i> = 0.034), but not body-fat content (<i>p</i> = 0.080) and low-back pain (LBP: <i>p</i> ≥ 0.078). In summary, the commercial setting of once-weekly WB-EMS application is effective to enhance stability, maximum strength, body composition and, to a lower extent, LBP in amateur golfers widely representative for a healthy male cohort.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Sarcopenia, defined as loss of muscle mass, quality, and function, is associated with reduced quality of life and adverse health outcomes including disability and mortality. Electromyostimulation (EMS) has been suggested to attenuate the loss of muscle mass and function in elderly, sedentary individuals. This study aimed to investigate the effects of EMS on muscle strength and function during 4 weeks of inpatient medical rehabilitation.<h4>Methods</h4>Patients receiving 4 weeks of inpatient medical rehabilitation diagnosed with sarcopenia using bioimpedance analysis were eligible to participate. One hundred and thirty-four patients (55.7 ± 7.9 years, 25.4% female) were randomly assigned to three groups: whole-body (WB) EMS (n = 48): stimulation of major muscle groups (pectoral muscles, latissimus, trapezius, abdominals, upper arm and leg, lower back muscles, gluteal muscles, and thighs); part-body (PB) EMS (n = 42): stimulation of leg muscles including gluteal muscles and thighs; and control group (CG, n = 44). All participants performed six 20 min training sessions including dynamic movements (squats, lunges, biceps curl, chest press, butterfly reverse, reverse lunges, standing diagonal crunches, etc.) with superimposed (WB-, PB-) EMS or without EMS (CG) in addition to the standard rehabilitation programme. Primary outcome variables included muscle function assessed by chair rise test and 6 min walking test as well as muscle strength (isometric grip strength, leg, arm, and back extension).<h4>Results</h4>Primary outcome variables chair rise test and leg extension improved significantly (P = 0.001, η<sup>2</sup> = 0.06 and P = 0.008, η<sup>2</sup> = 0.06; EMS vs. CG) in that chair rise test results increased in WB-EMS from 5 (4; 7) to 7 (5; 9), in PB-EMS from 5 (5; 7) to 7 (6; 8), and in CG from 6 (4; 7) to 7 (5; 8) repetitions. Knee extension increased in WB-EMS from 692.3 ± 248.6 to 831.7 ± 298.7 N, in PB-EMS from 682.8 ± 257.8 to 790.2 ± 270.2 N, and in CG from 638.5 ± 236.9 to 703.2 ± 218.6 N. No adverse events or side effects occurred.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We conclude that EMS might be an additional training option to improve muscle function and strength in sarcopenic patients during a 4 week rehabilitation programme. EMS provides greater functional and strength improvements compared with standard treatment with additional potential health benefits for sarcopenic cardiac and orthopaedic patients.
Project description:The skeletal muscle system plays an important role in the independence of older adults. In this study we examine differences in the skeletal muscle transcriptome between healthy young and older subjects and (pre‐)frail older adults. Additionally, we examine the effect of resistance‐type exercise training on the muscle transcriptome in healthy older subjects and (pre‐)frail older adults. Baseline transcriptome profiles were measured in muscle biopsies collected from 53 young, 73 healthy older subjects, and 61 frail older subjects. Follow‐up samples from these frail older subjects (31 samples) and healthy older subjects (41 samples) were collected after 6 months of progressive resistance‐type exercise training. Frail older subjects trained twice per week and the healthy older subjects trained three times per week. At baseline genes related to mitochondrial function and energy metabolism were differentially expressed between older and young subjects, as well as between healthy and frail older subjects. Three hundred seven genes were differentially expressed after training in both groups. Training affected expression levels of genes related to extracellular matrix, glucose metabolism, and vascularization. Expression of genes that were modulated by exercise training was indicative of muscle strength at baseline. Genes that strongly correlated with strength belonged to the protocadherin gamma gene cluster (r = −0.73). Our data suggest significant remaining plasticity of ageing skeletal muscle to adapt to resistance‐type exercise training. Some age‐related changes in skeletal muscle gene expression appear to be partially reversed by prolonged resistance‐type exercise training. The protocadherin gamma gene cluster may be related to muscle denervation and re‐innervation in ageing muscle.