getting shocked

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    Apr 17, 2007 3:05 AM GMT
    hey i was wondering if any guys here have ever used one of those electronic muscle stimulators? do they work? which ones are the right ones to use?
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    Apr 17, 2007 3:41 AM GMT
    Years ago when I was in College (late 80's). They didn't do anything for me then, but maybe they've improved since then.
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    Apr 17, 2007 5:10 AM GMT
    It'll work wonders if you know what you're doing.

    Very intense if you want it to be.
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    Apr 17, 2007 6:38 AM GMT
    It is called "Russian EStim" Current is below 100hz and pulse width also below 100 pps.

    It is used often in rehab. Numerous research shows, over and over again, it only works if the subject contracts the muscle fibers in sync with the machine, otherwise, it doesn't do much... It also tends to increase strength but not much size at all... Additiaonlly, such external electrical impulse applied to a muscle fiber already contracting by the subjects themselves can be painful and distracting...

    It has been attempted to be used for spinal cord and stroke patients in the past, but with no meaningful outcome. It is only used now days post surgery to compensate the temporary neurological shut down of fibers. It was used inteh 1960's by Russian atheltes.

    If it works in the passive mode, with no active muscular contraction from the subjects, you would not see spinal cord patients with atrophied extremities or stroke patients with dislocated shoulders...
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    Apr 18, 2007 4:10 PM GMT
    I had an E-Stim as part of my rehab for a shoulder injury and it was WEIRD. Felt WEIRD, looked WEIRD. Just WEIRD. It was a portable that I could wear under a shirt and would cycle the pulses from 1 "twitch" every few seconds to 6 "twitches". It did help with rehab, to a certain extent, but I cuoldn't imagine using it in place of exercise...
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    Apr 18, 2007 10:30 PM GMT
    You are right, non of my patients liked it, even hihg level atheltes...

    The setting you were given was not ideal, it tends to work better if it simulated real weight lifting, like a quic ramp up and contraction for 2 sec and off for 3 sec...

    To try to contract the fibers in sync with a strong electrical stimulation is NOT pelasant and distracting. It only works OK when the current is not too high and you do the mahoirty of the contraction yourself...
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    Apr 18, 2007 11:02 PM GMT
    They work for rehab purposes only.
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    Apr 18, 2007 11:06 PM GMT
    Agree. If it was the magic bullet, all pro bodybuilders and high level pro atheltes would be using it as part of their daily training. Russian Estim is NOT new...
  • GQjock

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    Apr 19, 2007 1:05 AM GMT
    Don't waste your money...
    Yes they cause the muscle to contract
    ...but the type of contraction is not the type that gives you muscle hypertrophy or growth
    the electrical stim machines work with isotonic muscle contraction know the kind of contraction where you stand in front of the mirror and if this kind of contraction made muscles grow - mirrors would be way more expensive than they are now
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    Apr 19, 2007 4:31 AM GMT
    I think there is a bit of confusion on isotonic contractions..

    Russian Estim stims works with mostly isometric contraction, meaning contraction with fibers under a constant length, but CAN work into isotonic contractions, which is the same as concentric contractions, or contraction while the length of the fiber shortens. Russian Estim can be used to work into isotonic contractions especially for shorter muscles such as the upper trapezius.

    Isotonic is the same as concentric contractions but with a constant load. Russian Estim with current high enough to produce isotonic contractions can be painful and can be dangerous if applied to large and long muslces such as the bicep and quads....

    There is also isokinetic contractions, etc...
  • vicguy

    Posts: 4

    May 07, 2007 3:54 PM GMT
    I think I had something like this when I was at ballet school to rehab a hamstring injury. I don't know if it was isokinetic or isotonic. I was in intense training and worked through the injury - I was on scholarship and thought they would chuck me out if I couldn't dance. The treatment really worked and I went on to have a good career.
    If this modality strengthens but does not bulid size, I wonder if the increased strength would help to increase training intensity. I suppose you would have to make sure all the right muscles were being worked by the current.
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    May 07, 2007 4:52 PM GMT
    I used one years ago when I was in military school.

    Some guys swore by that thing and used it a lot - it seemed to work from what I saw. But I hate getting shocked, so when I would use it, I pussied out and put the voltage too low to claim any reasonable benefits.

    It did contract the muscles, it did 'its thing', but I hated the way it felt. Just not natural, so I ditched touching it again before I could give it a fair shake.

    If you don't mind electricity or that feeling of current running through the pads into your muscles, then it does come in handy if you have to be at your desk and are not able to make it to the gym. Some of the guys I knew who cranked on that thing did like the results and swore by it.
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    May 11, 2007 11:34 AM GMT
    No. It only HELP in RESTORING SOME strength with an injured muscle.

    Research shown it deos NOT increase strength to a normal muscle fiber.

    And your friends who sweared by it must have also been doing exercises on the side. If one just leave it on while cannot make it to the gym, it does not work...

    Think about it, then all stroke and spinal cord patients wuold just not need rehab and just wear this device... Yet they still have signficant muscle waste.

    So, no, no , and no... It does not do what you think it does...

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    May 11, 2007 12:06 PM GMT
    As my sports med doc put it, at best it helps teach muscle to work, and repair nerve connections, more like a guiding hand than a hard shove.

    I.e. that's why you see it almost entirely in a therapeutic environment.

    External mechanisms like this shouldn't be relied upon long term or your body learns to rely on them instead of itself. Like wearing a leg wrap to support a weak knee. You quickly lose a huge amount of strength in the assisted muscles.

    The right thing to do is use the device as prescribed only for as long as prescribed in order to retrain your own body mechanisms to work properly and at capacity again.

    Crutches are .. crutches :)
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    May 13, 2007 12:53 PM GMT

    EStim does not "repair" nerve connections. There has never been a reliable study that proves electrical stimulation "repairs" neuromsucular junctions. And if you were talking about "repair" of the body of the peripheral nerve itself, electrical stimulation also does not do that whether it is an axonal or non-axonal damage.

    Nerve junction dysfunctions have such a broad spectrum of causes that I cannot even list the majority of them here... Poison, virus, auto immune, mechanical...

    The actual body of the peripheral nerve dysfunctions also come in as many flavors... Axonal, non axonal, mechincal, etc. Peripheral nerves CAN re-generate spontaneously to a certain degree dependent on the type of damage and numerous other factors.

    Skeletal/voluntary muscles can ONLY contract if the neuromuscular juntion is intact and working properly. Estim only "re-educates" the muscle fiber that still has fully intact local neuralmuscular junctions and it's motor unit structures. It does this by causing local ion channels in the neuramucular junction to discharge/fire and activating the motor units. It is the firing of nerves that activates the myosin and actin fibers in the muscle tissue to bind and unbind to form the contractions. The electrical current itself does NOT DIRECTLY casue the actin and myosin to bind or unbind. It needs a local motor unit with intact neuromascular junctions to work.

    I am pretty sure you misunderstood your doctor... Or he has to go back to his text book and read up on tons of existing research materials..
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    May 13, 2007 3:09 PM GMT
    I used it for rehab on my back, it bascally feels like when you lick a 9 volt battery but wherever you put it. over time you have to ramp the machine up because your body gets used to it, and it really doesnt do anything at all. Yoga did more for my back in one class than that machine did for me in the entire time I used it, and I was using the professional model not the at home kind
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    May 13, 2007 3:17 PM GMT
    What you used on your back was Estim with a setting for pain releive, not for muscular contractions with the purpose of reversed muscle re-education (non-reversed pathway is to ahve the central nervous system generate the signal to fire the motor units.)

    Estim has many applications depending on the setting: AC vs DC, pulse frequency, pulse width/duration, ramping curve/curve shape, symetrical or non-symetrical AC curves, high volt, micro current, interferential currents, you name it.

    The application can be anything from muscle re-education, pain releif, killing wound microbes, stimulate cell growth, transdermal medication delivery, etc, etc..

    It all depends on the setting...