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Hi, this is quite a basic question as I'm fairly new to electrotherapy and is regarding pulse width/length on an NMES machine

On a recent electrotherapy and ultrasound course, the suggested settings for pulse length/width (us) was 350-400 for muscle atrophy, endurance & strengthening on an NMES machine. I'm struggling to find a machine that goes above 200us that remains affordable (I'm UK based). The TENS company suggested there was no clinical evidence to show that settings above 200us were necessary. I'd appreciate any input and if allowed, any suggestions of machines around the £50 mark (I'll be buying a couple to hire out to clients as well as using them within appointments). For clarity, I'm a level 5 clinical sports and remedial massage therapist. Thanks in advance.

Sarah Jones

4 months ago

Back to General Electrotherapy

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Dinesh Verma
Dinesh Verma

Hi Sarah - My view while you compare Specs - will be good to differentiate between Phase duration and Pulse duration.... In a Symmetrical Biphasic type of current waveform 150 micoSec PHASE DURATION .... will be 300 Phase Duration... Different manufacturer - Present / label is differently and some of them NO SO Clear....! Good Luck.

Dr Sandy Rennie
Dr Sandy Rennie

Hi Sarah. A group of us spend two plus years writing a special edition of Physiotherapy Canada on NMES (Vol 69, Special Issue, 2017). In all of our research we found the minimum pulse duration was 200 microseconds but most authors preferred 250 up to 400. So while I cannot help you with the actual NMES device in the UK like Tim and Simon can, I can tell you that the TENS company that suggested there is no evidence for PD's greater than 200 microseconds is incorrect.

Prof Tim Watson
Prof Tim Watson

just did a quick check and certainly found a stim at under 50 ouns (inc VAT). Ignore all the pre set programmes and 'glitz' but a machine like this will do TENS and NMES with the longer pulses that you need. Not an advert - just an example of what is around out there : https://www.win-health.com/beurer-em49-digital-tens-ems-massager

Cliff Eaton
Cliff Eaton

Dear Sarah Chronaxy (pulse width and intensity) varies around the body (350-400 Quads), between individuals and is also influenced by stimulatants (caffeine) and dehydration. There are NMES devices on the market (Chattanooga) that measure for these variables but will be way above your suggested budget. There are company's (e.g. DJO Guildford) that hire these out to patients (£30pw) if this is of interest Cliff

simon.francis64
simon.francis64

Hi, Neurotrac Sports Muscle Stim has a pulse width range of 50 µS to 450 µS.

Price is £67.95+vat from trimbio.co.uk

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