Bad Oeynhausen Heart Clinic (2010)

Electromyostimulation (EMS) in cardiac patients. ls EMS training becoming significant for secondary prevention?

Aim of study
The view that moderate endurance training as a part of secondary prevention improves the prognosis for chronic heart insufficiency has been sufficiently validated. Based on experience, however, only a few well supervised, highly motivated and mostly younger patients can be reached with a complementary, sustained, sport therapy in clinical practice. Our own experience with whole body electromyostimulation of patients with cardiac insufficiency shows a thus far unanticipated potential for the regeneration of neurohumoral, inflammatory and skeletal muscular disease symptoms within the context of systemic CHI disease. Against this background, the effect and acceptance of whole body EMS in patients with cardiac insufficiency was investigated.

Up to a 96% increase in the oxygen uptake at the anaerobic threshold could be demonstrated (VO2AT 19.39 [± 5.3] ml/kg body weight [BVV] before the start of training; VO2AT 24.25 [± 6.34] ml/kg BW at the end of the training phase; p < 0.05). The diastolic blood pressure fell significantly (psyst < 0.05; pdiast < 0.001), muscle growth was up as high as 14% at constant weight. The training method was 100% accepted (no dropouts). The patients indicated that their subjective capacity was significantly higher.

For the first time, the study showed the effect of EMS training in patients with cardiac insufficiency. The improvement in the objective assessment of their capacity as well as the optimization of muscle-physiological and metabolic parameters by far surpassed the results of traditional types of aerobic training for primary and secondary cardiac rehabilitation in patients with CHI. The form of training selected holds great potential in the treatment of patients with cardiac insufficiency.