One of the continuing costs of use of a tens unit, muscle stimulator, interferential unit  or Infrex Plus unit  is the electrodes that are necessary for the operation of the unit. If the insurance company has purchased the unit for the patient then the continuing costs are covered, if not then it is out of pocket which is why we recommend using your insurance for the purchase so these costs are covered. Here are some helpful tips to prolong the use of the reusable electrodes as well as our Electrode Care Video by Elizabeth Johnson, P.T..  A patient needs a tens or interferential unit generally once and they last 5 years or more, while reusable electrodes are an ongoing monthly cost.  Best to not be penny wise and pound foolish.

Read the Instructions of the package the electrodes arrive in.

Be certain to follow the instructions for use and care, removal and storage of the electrodes before using them. Improper care may damage or destroy the electrodes.

Choose the Correct Electrode

Use the proper electrode style for the treatment site and type of stimulation. MedFaxx offers a variety of electrodes to meet the needs of each individual patient. If you have any questions about choosing the correct electrode, call our customer service department at 1-800-937-3993.

Prepare the Skin

Clean skin is the best preventative against skin irritation so always wash skin at the application site with soap and water and pat dry with a towel. Never use alcohol, lotions, oils, or creams on the skin prior to placing the electrodes. Trimming(not shaving) body hair from the area is often helpful. Additionally, pre- and post-treatment skin care products protect the skin and help to keep the treatment area healthy. Should any irritation occur, discontinue treatment until the skin heals.


Electrode Removal

Remove the electrodes from their liners by bending the liner slight at a corner. Loosen the gel from the liner by rubbing your thumb across the edge of the electrode in an upward motion. Once the gel has loosened from the liner, grasp the edge of the electrode and peel from the liner.

For those electrodes with pre-attached wires (or pigtails), PLEASE DO NOT PULL ON THE WIRE. Doing so will cause damage or destroy the electrode. The proper method of removal is to grasp the edge of the electrode and lift it from the liner or the skin.

Rotating Electrodes

To extend the life the electrodes, rotate their use. They should be rotated every 4 to 6 hours if being used in a hot or humid environment.

Over-Saturation

Over-saturation can occur if electrodes are worn too long without rotating. Over-saturation occurs when the solid gel electrode absorbs and retains moisture from perspiration, hot/humid environments, or excessive addition of water to re-hydrate the gel surface. Over-saturation results in an eventual lessening of the physical and adhesive properties of the gel. The electrodes should be removed from the skin and allowed to air dry in a cool and dry environment such as a refrigerator, with the gel exposed to the air for at least 24 hours.

Storing & Re-hydrating

Always check to electrode gel for tac prior to use. If the gel does not readily adhere to a gentle touch of your fingertip, rub a drop of water on the gel surface and repeat until the surface has been completely re-hydrated.

Return the electrodes to the release side of their liner and return to the storage bag. Store in a cool, dry place, avoiding exposure of the gel to heat and humidity.


    Thanks for sigining up for the MedFaxx newsletter.  We hope to provide you with information that you can use but we are always ready to answer your calls at 800-937-3993 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. me personally.

    Sincerely,


    Bob Johnson and the MedFaxx staff.



 

     Hope some of these muscle stimulation articles are making sense and helping you to better understand how we need FES units to do specific tasks to aid in the rehab. process.

        Waveform is nothing but the description that is used to illustrate what electricity, leaving the unit, looks like.  It is usually referred to as either square or sine wave. 

   

   The top wave is a sine wave and the second one down is a square wave.

    As you can see with the square wave you have the FES unit off when the line is flat, then a sudden 90 degree vertical turn represents the unit has come on and it goes to a set intensity or amplitude and then holds that level until the unit stops transmitting and you see the rapid vertical descension to the base line.

    Obviously why is this important, the wave form? 

 


What is the difference difference between "Muscle Stim" and "Functional Electrical Stim."(FES).

    In a previous article on muscle stimulation  we discussed what is generically referred to as "muscle stim."   Muscle  stimulators for functional use are referred to as Functional Electrical Stimulators and are used for rehabilitation, not muscle pain.

    One of the things you have on good stimulators is what is called  "rise and fall" time.  As an example you would not want a FES unit to come on and immediately ramp up to it's full power. If this happens then the person jerks their arm/leg whatever from full resting position to the end result or a completely involuntary motion that can cause harm.  If you want to hold a coffee cup you would not jerk it up from the table to your lips in half a second, but you would gradually lift it up over an elapse of time and then tilt it to drink.

   The "rise time" is the time it takes for the unit to come on and go to full power.  This allows the muscles to contract more naturally and achieve a smooth movement, not a jerky response.  After the rise time is over then the unit has what is referred to as a "Hold" time which is nothing but an interval of time in which the contractions are held to keep the cup close to the mouth.  After the hold time is done then we have what is called the "fall" time and that is when the FES unit slowly decreases the power so the arm/hand can lower the cup back to the table. 

   The process I've referred to above is the "duty cycle" or actual time the unit is on and holds power until it turns off and rests for the next "duty cycle".  Clinically the therapist uses the duty cycle to not only help the patient regain control but also as a gauge of the strength the patient is recovering during the rehab. process.


   When one starts the rehab. the patient may not be able to do more than a few repetitions before fatiguing or do only a few treatments per day.  With time and use the duty cycle becomes more aggressive ( greater time unit is on ) and the repetitions during the day more frequent.

  


  muscle stimulation 

     What is Muscle Stimulation and Are There Differences In the Purpose?


    Unfortunately most people refer to muscle stimulation as the amount of electrical energy needed to produce a muscle nerve reaction such as a muscle twitch. That may be fine if all one is trying to do is increase blood flow, or compress to move fluids away from the area such as an edematous limb. 

    Let's discuss the difficulty in engineering  an interferential unit
that is truly portable.

    TENS vs. INTERFERENTIAL

   Portable units be it TENS, IF, or what is called PGS or pulsed galvanic
current are designed for a patient to actually wear on their belt,
garment etc.  They use some form of disposable/rechargeable battery
system such as 9 volt or AAA systems to power the unit.

     One of the factors using UVC is the ability to focus the rays on the target.  As an example when the V-254 is used over a wound it is desirable to focus the light in the most contaminated areas.  The V-254 Wound lamp is powereed by a 4 watt bulb which is very safe for the patient and the clinician, but not nearly as strong as what we use in the Mobile UV Sterilizer (MUVS) which has 150 watt bulbs.  The question is how do we maintain the safety but have enough energy to destroy the pathogens.....


  Ultraviolet light is invisible to humans but many insects can see it, an effect known as phototactic sight.  UV light emits at different levels called nanometers ( one billionth of a meter ).  There are 3 common spectrums of UV light:

1.  UVA  - 315 - 400 nanometers (nm) - known as "black lights" and used in insect zappers
2.  UVB -  280 - 314  nm  - treatment of skin diseases such as psoriasis
3. UVC -   100 - 280  nm - what our V-254 Wound Lamp and Mobile UV Sterilizer operate at for germicidal action

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