WHAT IS MUSCLE ACTIVATION? HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM NMES? TENS?
Your nerves send small electrical signals throughout your body to transmit messages about sensation and motion. For example, when you flex your muscles, an electrical signal is relayed through your nervous system to the muscle telling it to contract.
This process can be mimicked with an electrical device, which sends a mild electrical signal to your muscles through electrodes on the skin, overriding the natural nerve signals.
There are two types of stimulation devices – TENS and NMES, whose effects – pain reduction or muscle contraction – differ by the signal’s target nerves and the signal’s waveform:
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is frequently used to therapeutically treat pain by sending a lower intensity signal that overrides and blocks pain signals from your nerves, preventing your brain from detecting pain.
- NMES (neuromuscular electrical stimulation) sends a slightly higher intensity electrical impulse into the body, triggering your muscles to contract. NMES has been shown to be effective at strengthening muscles, particularly in the case of muscle atrophy.
Traditional NMES devices blindly transmit a consistent high-voltage signal into the body to trigger contraction. As this powerful signal is distributed throughout your body from the electrodes, it can also stimulate pain nerves in your skin, eliciting a painful experience.
The QB1 represents the next generation of NMES devices, delivering a novel form of stimulation we call Muscle Activation. The innovative QB1 technology deliver muscle stimulation through a patented closed-loop feedback system, which intelligently monitors and adjusts the signal to optimally deliver stimulation at a fraction of the power of traditional devices, greatly improving your physical comfort and experience.
HOW DOES MUSCLE ACTIVATION WORK TO ADDRESS QUAD ATROPHY?
Quad Atrophy is a condition frequent after knee injury and/or surgery, whereby your thigh muscles are weakened by a combination of disuse and an interruption of normal neural activation that prevents nerve signals from properly producing muscle contraction.
If left untreated, this continued weakness may prevent you from returning to your pre-injury function and may lead to further joint injury or damage.
For decades, physical therapists relied upon strengthening exercises alone to treat quad atrophy. However, progress was slow as exercises weren’t targeted.
CyMedica’s Muscle Activation device seeks to overcome quad atrophy by targeting only your atrophied thigh muscles. The two QB1 programs – POST-OP and STRENGTH – seek to address one of the two reasons for quad atrophy:
- POST-OP seeks to ‘reset’ and ‘re-educate’ your neural circuitry immediately after surgery, allowing you to better contract your thigh muscles consciously.
- STRENGTH effectively ‘exercises’ your muscles for you, targeting the specific muscle groups commonly affected by atrophy.
Both programs utilize QB1’s patented closed-loop feedback system to intelligently monitor and adjust the stimulation signal to make it more comfortable. As frequent administration of Muscle Activation is key for optimal results, this improved comfort greatly increases the likelihood that you will use the device and receive therapeutic benefits.