NMES is used to reduce atrophy (decreased muscle), increase neurological signals- stimulating muscle movement, muscle strength, ROM and blood flow in conjunction with a remedial exercise program.
NMES stimulates motor neurones which leads to a muscle contraction, this, in turn, means that the amount of atrophy is reduced and the neural connection is strengthened. As the muscle contracts, this increases blood flow leading to an increase in oxygen and nutrient delivery to the muscle and removal of waste away from the muscle.
In addition as the muscle contracts, this leads to movement of the associated joints, therefore increasing their flexion and extension known as ROM. For example, if the quadricep is being treated the ROM of the stifle (knee) would be increased due to the action of the quadriceps muscle to extend the stifle joint when the quadriceps muscle contracts this is particularly useful in cases of upward fixation of the patella (locking stifle).
You can find more information on muscles anatomical positions and there functions in our muscle blog posts.