Electrical stimulation (ES) is the application of controlled electrical impulses delivered from a device to the body via adhesive electrodes. ES is often used in clinical and sports medicine settings to elicit changes in cellular and nervous system function, muscular contractions and optimize oxygen and nutrient-rich blood flow to targeted areas. When performed properly, ES is proven to enhance the body’s ability to recover (following exercise or injury) increase muscular hypertrophy/strength, manage pain and optimize athletic performance.
What is Electrical Stimulation?
The History of Electrical Stimulation
The therapeutic utilization of ES dates to the ancient Egyptians who would use the electric charge from conductive fish to heal various ailments. Several centuries later, Italian physician & physicist Luigi Galvani demonstrated that directing electrical currents through a frog would cause an involuntary leg twitch.
In the 1970’s, Russian scientist Dr. Yakov Kotz began utilizing an Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) variation termed Kotz Current in the training of Russian athletes for the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Western culture started to gravitate toward the use of this “new phenomenon” when stars such as Bruce Lee and Olympic track coach Charlie Francis started to boast the positive effects of EMS. As the popularity continued to grow, a greater number of medical grade research studies were funded to further understand the physiological effects of EMS. Today, EMS is utilized in clinical settings by physiotherapists in clinics, hospitals and sports performance facilities across the world.
Types of Electrical Stimulation
Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS)
Stimulation of denervated muscle to maintain viability
Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (EMS)
AC, Pulsed DC
Stimulation of innervated muscle to restore muscle strength, reduction of spasm, prevent atrophy, increase ROM and neuromuscular re-education
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
Portable, superficial stimulation across the skin for pain management
Interferential Current (IFC)
Stimulation of nerves for pain inhibition
Drive ionically charged medications in solution to target tissues
The Latest & Greatest in ES Technology:
NF1 Electrical Stimulation
NeuroForce1 utilizes a uniquely calibrated FDA Class II medical device based on scientific research. Although many ES devices claim to have ‘the best waveform’, at NF1 we understand and respect the complexity of human physiology, the nervous system and the body’s ability to adapt, and therefore subscribe to the belief that there is not a single static waveform that will be ideal for all individuals, or even all muscle groups/types within an individual to truly optimize performance and reach goals.
The concept behind NF1 ES leverages specific stimulation frequencies, pulse durations, wave types & cycles to optimize the function of the brain to increase healing and performance. These waveforms have been closely studied and carefully developed to mimic biological brain stimulation pathways that may be diminished, suboptimal and the root cause of neuromuscular dysfunction.
The NF1 ES device uses the full range of ES types, which allows it to meet the entire spectrum of practitioner or individual needs including drug-free pain relief, enhanced recovery and nervous system relaxation, increased strength and performance, improved healing and even sleep quality. The proprietary NF1 ES device combines all types of known Electrical Stimulation variations into a single device!
The NF1 Difference
At NF1, we believe in a completely individualized and data-driven approach to treatment and avoid the generic “one-size-fits-all” model that leads to suboptimal outcomes. By leveraging existing medical grade research, and further validating our device and protocols with ongoing medical-grade diagnostic testing, NF1 is able to customize treatment programs, objectively quantify progress and adjust treatment programs as needed to avoid plateaus associated with static treatment programs and ES devices that use a single waveform.