This study assessed whether the increase in foot and ankle volume (swelling) after 30 min of standing in healthy subjects could be minimised by Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS). Foot and ankle volume in healthy subjects was measured before and after 30 min of standing or standing while EMS was applied to the lower leg. Post-test foot and ankle volume was significantly greater than pre-test volume after 30 min of standing, whereas no significant differences were found after 30 min of standing while applying EMS. By activating the musculo-venous pump, EMS may help minimise the increase in foot and ankle volume by increasing venous return, reducing venous stasis, increasing lymph flow and increasing interstitial hydrostatic pressure, which could in turn assist with fluid reabsorption.
Study: Lepar, G. S., Morrissey, M. C., & Cywinski, J. K. (2003). Effect of neuromuscular electrical stimulation on foot/ankle volume during standing. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 35(4), 630-634.