eStim Wearable Muscle Stimulator

eStim – Programmable Electronic Muscle Stimulator

eStim – A unique muscle stimulator

eStimThe eStim is an electronic stimulator that improves muscular performance, accelerates healing of injured muscles and tissues, increases blood flow and stimulates the growth of capillaries arterioles and increases the amount of nutrients, water and oxygen available to muscles allowing improved muscle metabolism.

Although the eStim encompasses all of the functionality of the best TENS machines it does much more.

TENS devices have been around a long time and normally operate with low current in the 1 to 100Hz frequency range. Their use is limited primarily for pain relief.

The eStim output signal range is wider and capable of more powerful output. It covers a broader range of frequencies from 1 to 10 000Hz and it is has protocols not only for pain but also for repair, rehabilitation and regeneration.

Capillary regeneration and improved muscle function
The eStim uses protocols that stimulate the development of capillaries. Capillaries begin to grow very early (after only 48 hours) prior to most modifications of muscle metabolism. This is due to a combination of increased activation of growth factors and substances released from vessel endothelium by increased shear stress, which increases with every single muscle contraction. The number of capillaries and their total area increases with time. Capillary growth increases the amount of nutrients, water and oxygen available to a muscle allowing improved muscle metabolism.

Electrical stimulation with the eStim provides the following benefits:

  • Capillary growth followed by growth of arterioles and higher maximal muscle blood flow.
  • Increases filtration capacity and transport through capillaries
  • Increased the venous pump (the amount of blood leaving the muscles during contractions) and improves lymph flow thus reducing swelling (edema formation).
  • Reduces the effect of vasoconstrictor nerves and substances causing vasoconstriction of vessels
  • Improves the capacity of the endothelial cells to generate Nitric Oxide and thus vasodilation.
  • Enhances the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscles and improves removal of waste products.
  • The above changes increase muscular resistance to fatigue and improve overall muscle performance.

eStimVascular changes in stimulated muscles occur much earlier than those induced by exercise training and are more extensive over the whole muscle.

The above effects of electrical muscle stimulation using the eStim result in improvements in muscle metabolism, capillary supply and blood flow leading to increased muscle performance and overall sport performance.

Output current on the eStim

Although the output current is within the maximum safe values recommended, the wavelengths and waveforms used are different and sufficient for any part of the body. Wavelength is also a function of frequency and the eStim has one of the largest frequency ranges compared to other portable devices.

Multiple simultaneous stimulation points

Because of the unique design and cutting edge electronic technology built into the eStim, it is capable of whole body stimulation with multiple points. In general the number of points that can be stimulated is a function of the specialized brace used. The braces specially designed for the eStim will take the two input points and distribute these via a specially designed conductive fabric to various points on the body appropriate for that signal.

eStim and improved sport performance

eStim with braceBy itself no form of electrical stimulation increases muscle mass. However when the eStim is used in conjunction with a physical training regimen muscle mass increase is accelerated.

Two fundamental differences exist between voluntary muscle contractions and those induced by electrical stimulation of muscle. During voluntary movements motor units are activated asynchronously and a strict hierarchical order of recruitment is always maintained. The smallest motor units are activated first followed by contractions of larger units. Therefore during voluntary movement the largest motor units are least active and are only used during maximal effort. When electrical stimulation of the muscle is used to activate muscles this order of recruitment is reversed, due to the biophysical properties of the axons that innervate muscle, the largest motor units are activated preferentially and therefore the parts of the muscle that are usually used rarely are active most frequently. During electrical stimulation therefore it is the motor units that are normally least active that experience the biggest increase in their use and consequently the biggest change in their characteristic properties. By reversing the hierarchical order of recruitment electrical stimulation is able to activate those motor units that are only activated during the most strenuous exercise. It can therefore exploit the adaptive potential of muscles more efficiently then exercise alone and maintain much higher levels of activity over time then exercise. High amounts of activity can also be imposed on a muscle from the beginning since the CNS, cardiovascular and other systems will not interfere or limit the amount of activity carried out by the muscle, as is the case during exercise.

eStim brace with connectorsWith exercise alone the small motor units are activated first and only after much effort are the large body shaping muscles progressively and slowly brought into action. Thus it can take up to half an hour of vigorous active training to reach the muscles one wants to work on, and unless the training is intense and regular, the body shaping results can be minimal. With electrical stimulation, preset pulses in varying sequences can reach those muscles in seconds, faster than with exercise alone. In fact it is the large motor units that tend to respond first at low current intensity.

Thus electrical stimulation of muscles can be used in conjunction with exercise to enhance the results of activity or as a form of preparation for a sport, which can be hard on an unprepared body. It is also used as a supplement to exercise when age or sedentary habits created by modern lifestyles set in and cause muscles to deteriorate.

Unique conductive braces available with the eStim

Specially designed conductive braces for every major muscle group are available for use with the eStim including a face mask to help tone facial muscles.

With the specially designed braces one can wear the eStim on the brace itself with no need for electrodes and wires. One can therefore have a stimulation session while still working or doing other activities.

In addition special purpose braces are also available. An example is a purpose built brace that stimulates and activates the pelvic floor muscles, which is useful for people who suffer with urinary incontinence. Similarly a host of custom-made braces are available from CKS Biomedical Systems for a variety of conditions. 

Battery life on the eStim

Unlike most portable stimulation devices, the eStim is equipped with a rechargeable battery that is charged through a USB cable.

Depending on frequency of use the eStim can be used over several days without the need for recharging. It is recommended however that the eStim should be charged every two days as one would charge a cell phone.

Other uses of the eStim

The eStim has numerous uses including repair and rehabilitation for almost every muscle group in the body. It is used for various cardiovascular conditions. It can also be used in the on-going management of epilepsy and it can be used to provide pain relief for a variety of conditions including pain relief during labour.

eStim and whole body stimulation

The eStim has a unique program and body brace that is used for whole body stimulation. This provides immense benefits to overall physical health and conditioning.

Duration of each stimulation session

While most sessions are thirty minutes, there are exceptions that are dependent on the particular area being stimulated. In vagus nerve stimulation for example the sessions are much shorter.

Customised protocols with the eStim

Health care professionals that have had training from CKS Biomedical Systems are able to program the eStim from a computer with specially designed software to trial specific treatment protocols for a wide range of conditions. The applications areas are numerous and in the hands of a trained health care researcher, the eStim is a powerful device with broad capability, a wide frequency range and customisable output signal.


 

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