Revitive

Keep Active With Revitive

Home

What is Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation as therapy

  • Electrical stimulation has been used in mainstream therapy and with medical applications for more than a century1,2
  • Whatever the method of application, the mode of action involves an electrical current being passed into the tissues, to stimulate an action potential in a motor or sensory nerve3
  • Evidence shows that electrical stimulation applied at the ‘right’ dose can improve a patient’s condition and well-being4
  • The therapeutic benefit gained depends on the type of nerve stimulated and the person’s presenting condition3-5
  • Types of electrical stimulation include neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and functional electrical stimulation (FES)5
  • References

    1. Bélanger, AY. Therapeutic Electrophysical Agents: Evidence Behind Practice. 2nd Edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2009
    2. Heidland A et al. Neuromuscular electrostimulation techniques: historical aspects and current possibilities in treatment of pain and muscle waisting. Clin Nephrol. 2013;79 Suppl 1:S12-23
    3. Electrotherapy. Evidence-Based Practice. Editor: Tim Watson. Chapter 13: Deidre M Walsh. 2008, Elsevier Ltd
    4. Electrotherapy. Evidence-Based Practice. Editor: Tim Watson. Chapter 1: Tim Watson. 2008, Elsevier Ltd
    5. Electrotherapy. Evidence-Based Practice. Editor: Tim Watson. Chapter 15: Suzanne McDonough. 2008, Elsevier Ltd
  • NMES promotes muscle contraction

    NMES (also called motor electrical stimulation [MES] or motor nerve electrical stimulation [MNES] or electrical stimulation [estim]) achieves its therapeutic effect through activation of motor nerves, causing muscle contraction1

    The electrical stimulation applied through NMES can be characterised using several parameters1:

    • Waveform or pulse ‘shape’
    • Pulse duration
    • Stimulation intensity
    • Stimulation frequency

    Research has shown that NMES delivered via skin surface electrodes to the peripheral nerves or directly to the muscles, can also activate the muscle pump, enhance the microvascular blood flow, improve the oxygen delivery to peripheral tissues and reduce discomfort and pain related to swelling2,3

  • References

    1. Electrotherapy. Evidence-Based Practice. Editor: Tim Watson. Chapter 13: Deidre M Walsh. 2008, Elsevier Ltd
    2. Corley G J et al. Haemodynamic effects of habituation to a week-long program of neuromuscular electrical stimulation. Med Eng Phys. 2012;34(4):459-65
    3. Faghri P D et al. Venous Haemodynamics of the lower extremities in response to electrical stimulation. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1998;79(7):842-8
  • Therapeutic uses of NMES

    NMES-induced muscle contractions have been shown to have clinical benefit in strengthening muscle, improving function and reducing tone1

    The clinical benefit may be greater when NMES is combined with exercise2,3

    Muscle contraction and the associated improvements in blood flow and oxygenation can have the following therapeutic benefits:

    • Muscle re-education1
    • Muscle pump contractions4,5
    • Retardation of atrophy1
    • Muscle strengthening1,6
    • Increasing range of motion1
    • Reducing oedema7
  • References

    1. Electrotherapy. Evidence-Based Practice. Editor: Tim Watson. Chapter 15: Suzanne McDonough. 2008, Elsevier Ltd
    2. Windley TC. The efficacy of neuromuscular electrical stimulation for muscle-strength augmentation. Athletic Therapy Today 2007;12(1):39-42
    3. Paillard T. Combined application of neuromuscular electrical stimulation and voluntary muscular contractions. Sports Med. 2008;38(2):161-7
    4. Faghri P D et al. Venous Haemodynamics of the lower extremities in response to electrical stimulation. Arch Phys Med Rehabil Vol 79, 842-848
    5. Breen P P et al. Comparison of single – and two-channel neuromuscular electrical stimulation sites for enhancing venous return. IEEE Transactions on neural systems and rehabilitation engineering. Vol 20, NO. 3, May 2012
    6. Abdellaoui et al. Skeletal muscle effects of electrostimulation after COPD exacerbation:a pilot study. Eur Respir J 2011;38:781-8
    7. Man IOW et al. Effect of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation on Foot/Ankle Volume during standing. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003;35(4):630-4
  • Specific patient populations

    The clinical benefits of NMES have been shown in various patient populations, for example :

    Venous insufficiency1

    Through improvement of the calf muscle-venous pump, NMES can reduce oedema and associated pain in patients suffering from chronic venous insufficiency

    Osteoarthritis (OA)2,3

    Exercise has limited benefit in reducing OA knee pain; NMES applied to the quadriceps femoris can reduce knee pain3

    NMES applied to the quadriceps femoris and calves can strengthen knee extensors in patients with hip OA who have undergone total hip arthroplasty4

    Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN)4,5

    NMES appears to be effective in reducing symptomatic neuropathic pain and sleeping disturbances in patients with type 2 diabetes

    Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery6

    Quadriceps strength reduces after ACL surgery following injury; NMES combined with exercise can restore quadriceps strength and improve function

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)7,8

    Many patients are unable, or afraid, to undertake exercise training and pulmonary rehabilitation to improve muscle dysfunction and exercise capacity. NMES can improve muscle activity without causing dyspnoea1

  • References

    1. Bogachev VY et al. Electromuscular stimulation with VEINOPLUS® for the treatment of chronic venous edema. Int Angiol. 2011;30(6):567-90
    2. Gaines JM et al. The effect of neuromuscular electrical stimulation on arthritis knee pain in older adults with osteoarthritis of the knee. Appl Nurs Res. 2004;17(3):201-6
    3. Gremeaux V et al. Low-frequency electric muscle stimulation combined with physical therapy after total hip arthroplasty for hip osteoarthritis in elderly patients: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008;89(12):2265-73
    4. Reichstein L et al. Effective treatment of symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy by high-frequency external muscle stimulation. Diabetologia 2005;48(5):824-8
    5. Humpert PM et al. External electric muscle stimulation improves burning sensations and sleeping disturbances in patients with type 2 diabetes and symptomatic neuropathy. Pain Med. 2009;10(2):413-9
    6. Palmieri-Smith RM, Thomas AC, Wojtys EM. Maximizing quadriceps strength after ACL reconstruction. Clin Sports Med. 2008;27(3):405-24
    7. Rochester CL. Electrical stimulation of peripheral muscles in COPD: theory and practice. Multidiscip Respir Med. 2007;3:92-7
    8. Sillen MJ et al. Effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation of muscles of ambulation in patients with chronic heart failure or COPD: a systematic review of the English-language literature. Chest. 2009;136(1):44-6
  • NMES goes beyond sensory stimulation to cause muscle contraction

    In contrast to TENS, NMES employs a higher electrical stimulation intensity and longer pulse duration in order to activate motor nerve action potentials and stimulate muscle contraction1

    However, when an NMES device is turned to a sub-motor intensity (i.e., the stimulation threshold for motor nerve activation has NOT been reached), a sensory effect may be generated

  • References

    1. Electrotherapy. Evidence-Based Practice. Editor: Tim Watson. Chapter 16: Mark I Johnson. 2008, Elsevier Ltd
  • Please wait...

    {{var product.getName()}} added to basket


    X
    Continue shopping View basket