Compex Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- HOW LONG DO THE BATTERIES REMAIN CHARGED?
Battery life varies depending on the programmes used and the intensities selected. The average battery life is between 15 and 20 hours.
- HOW LONG IS THE COMPEX WARRANTY?
Compex muscle stim devices: 2 years (plus 1 additional year by filling in the warranty registration form on the website warranty-1-year).
Compex bracing and support range: 6 months against defects in materials and workmanship. Normal wear and tear during the usage of a product is not considered a defect.
- HOW MANY TIMES CAN THE COMPEX ELECTRODES BE USED?
Depending on your skin type, between 15 and 30 times. Some 30 applications are possible on skin that is clean, non-greasy and shaved.
- IS THE STIMULATOR SUPPLIED WITH COMPEX ELECTRODES?
Yes. When purchased, each stimulator comes with x1 set of standard electrodes.
- WHAT SOURCES OF INFORMATION ARE THERE ON THE USE OF COMPEX STIMULATORS?
Each Compex stimulator is supplied with a user manual and a specific applications manual which includes how to place the electrodes.
- FOR WHOM IS COMPEX MUSCLE STIM DESIGNED?
Compex electrotherapy is designed for sportsmen and women:
- To support their training and improve their performance, to speed up healing after certain injuries, to prepare for their season, to recover more quickly after intense effort, to provide pain relief.
- For physiotherapists: For rehabilitation, pain relief, treatment of specific neurological pathologies, orthopaedics, rheumatology, traumatology, urology, vascular conditions.
- For those who want to look after their body: To keep in shape, for massages, to relieve heavy legs, low back or cervical pains, to support a physical rehabilitation programme, also to strengthen the abdominals or other parts of the body.
- WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF COMPEX MUSCLE STIM?
Compex muscle stim uses very high quality and high comfort level currents. There are several benefits:
- Improve muscle strength
- Optimize training
- Prevent injuries
- Reduce muscle soreness
- Recover after training
- Reviving massage
- Reduce muscle tension
- Relieve muscular and joint pains
- Reduce heavy legs
- Sculpt your body
- Tone your muscles
- Shape your body
Muscle stim can be used in an intense way in complete safety:
- Without causing nervous fatigue
- By protecting your joints
- Electrostimulation has no side effects; it is a non-invasive treatment method, often an effective alternative to drugs, for pain treatment.
- WHAT IS MUSCLE STIM?
Muscle stim is a tried and tested medical treatment method, used for rehabilitation, pain treatment and for training sportsmen and women.
The working principle behind muscle stim is very simple. It faithfully reproduces the process by which muscle contractions are controlled by the brain. So, with muscle stim, the activity in your muscles is triggered by electrical impulses sent by our devices to the motor nerve. Your muscle cannot distinguish between a contraction triggered by your brain and one triggered by electrostimulation. This is known as electrically induced contraction.
- CAN MUSCLE VOLUME BE INCREASED WITH COMPEX?
Yes. The work carried out during Compex sessions (depending on the programme selected) induces adaptations in the muscle fibres, with one of them being the increase in muscle volume.
- CAN THE TISSUES OR MUSCLES BE FIRMED WITH COMPEX?
Yes. Some Compex programmes increase muscle tone and enable firming. In addition, the Capillarisation programme encourages exchanges under the skin and improves its quality, which further increases this firming effect.
- DOES COMPEX ELECTROSTIMULATION ALSO PROVIDE ENDURANCE TRAINING?
Yes. The Compex Electrostimulation Endurance programme improves the ability of muscle fibres to receive oxygen (develops mitochondria and increases oxidative enzymes) consequently increasing the intensity of the average effort that you can maintain over a long period.
- HAS A SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT IN STRENGTH BEEN OBSERVED WITH COMPEX?
Yes. A good example for us to look at is the study carried out on professional basketball players. This study compared the relaxation of a group of players who trained with Compex alongside their usual training, and a group that trained only in the traditional manner. The group that trained with Complex showed an improvement in explosive strength that clearly exceeded that of the control group (+30%).
- HAVE ANY STUDIES BEEN CARRIED OUT DEMONSTRATING AN IMPROVEMENT IN ENDURANCE?
A study carried out on cross-country skiing showed an improvement in endurance and strength after training with Compex (Leipzig, 1999).
- IS IT POSSIBLE TO LOSE FAT WITH COMPEX?
No. Although the muscle fibres stimulated during a Compex training session use up energy, this is much less than the total energy used up by the body during voluntary training. Compex training does not therefore burn enough fat to achieve weight loss.
- WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF THE ACTIVE RECOVERY PROGRAMME?
This programme does not cause contractions; it causes muscular twitches. The frequency of the pulse drops gradually during the session, resulting in three types of effect: an increase in blood flow (faster elimination of toxins), an endorphin analgesic effect, a relaxing effect. The end result is faster restoration of the muscular balance.
- AS IT IS POSSIBLE TO TRAIN ISOLATED MUSCLE GROUPS, IS THERE ANY RISK OF DEVELOPING A MUSCULAR IMBALANCE?
No. It is in fact possible using Compex to remove any existing imbalance by training specific muscle groups that are weaker. Compex helps to improve the muscle chain responsible for a movement, strengthening the weakest link!
- CAN COMPEX SESSIONS BE CARRIED OUT DURING VOLUNTARY TRAINING?
Compex sessions can be carried out outside or during voluntary training. If you wish to do both types of training at the same time, we recommend that you start with voluntary training. In some cases, particularly for resistance work, it can be beneficial to start with a Compex session in order to generate a state of “pre-fatigue” in the muscle fibres.
- CAN COMPEX SIMPLY REPLACE VOLUNTARY TRAINING IN GENERAL?
Compex stimulation is a complement to voluntary training to boost overall training performance. It is obviously essential to continue practising movements, technique, cardio-vascular development etc.
- CAN I TRAIN THE MUSCLES MORE WITH COMPEX THAN WITH VOLUNTARY TRAINING?
Yes. When you stimulate a muscle using a Compex programme, there is no limit to the muscle work as a result of physical or cardiovascular fatigue. It is therefore possible to choose precise stimulation settings to work specific muscle areas more accurately and more effectively than is possible with classic voluntary training. The important thing is to increase the intensity levels to ensure that as many muscle fibres as possible are stimulated.
- IS TRAINING WITH COMPEX ALSO SUITABLE FOR ADOLESCENTS OR CHILDREN?
Compex is obviously not a toy, and it must not be used by children without adult supervision. Having said that, as Compex prevents overtaxing the bones and tendons, unlike classic weight training, it can be used to good effect to increase muscle strength in young people without causing any lesions.
- WHAT DOES COMPEX BRING TO TRADITIONAL TRAINING?
Compex will enable you to increase your training hours, enhance training quality and improve recovery. Regardless of the type of sport practised, the level of muscle stimulation of the Compex programmes always enhances performance. You can train more, better and in less time: save time, and increase effectiveness and performance.
- WHY DOES TRAINING WITH COMPEX NOT CAUSE TRAUMA?
With Compex, the muscle contractions always develop gradually with no sudden pull on the tendons or joints. This means that it is not possible to cause muscle or tendon trauma. However, as the muscle work is intense, muscle soreness is frequent at the start of training, just like when starting muscle training with weights.
- ARE THERE ANY ABSOLUTE CONTRAINDICATIONS?
Yes. The device must not be used in the case of epilepsy or on people who wear a pacemaker. In addition, stimulation must never be applied around the stomach area in women who are pregnant, or for people suffering from a hernia or eventration. In addition, the electrodes must never be placed on the head.
- ARE THERE ANY LONG-TERM RISKS WITH MUSCULAR STIMULATION?
No. Muscular stimulation and electrotherapy in general has existed for decades and no problems have ever been found.
- CAN THE USE OF EXCESSIVELY HIGH INTENSITY LEVELS CAUSE INJURY?
No. It is not possible to cause injury because the intensity is increased progressively during the contraction period to ensure that there is no risk of muscle tears.
- HOW DO I CONNECT THE CABLES TO THE ELECTRODES?
The positive connection (red) must be placed on the electrode which is on the muscle motor point. The negative connection (clear/black) is placed on the electrode which is on the muscle path.
- HOW DO I FIND THE EXACT MOTOR POINT?
The photos of the position of the electrodes show the precise location. To locate your personal motor point more precisely, you can either slightly move the positive electrode (red) and note where the muscle response is the best or use the motor point pen accessory which allows you to determine with greater accuracy the exact location of the motor points for each individual and thus guarantee optimum effectiveness of the programmes.
- IS IT IMPORTANT TO LOCATE THE MOTOR POINT ACCURATELY?
The precise positioning of the electrodes is not essential for the complementary programmes which do not induce a powerful muscle contraction (Active Recovery, Capillarisation). For the training programmes (Strength, Resistance, Endurance), it is more important but the electrode position indications are adapted and usually sufficient. Individual differences to what is indicated in the photos disappear once the stimulation intensity is increased.
- IS THERE ANY DANGER FROM BADLY POSITIONED ELECTRODES?
No. There is no danger if the electrodes are badly positioned. The stimulation will simply become less effective.
- IS TOLERANCE TO THE LEVEL OF ELECTRICAL INTENSITY THE SAME FOR EVERYBODY?
No. Everyone has their own level of sensitivity that depends in particular on their constitution (fat, conjunctive tissue, etc.)
- WHAT IS THE REASON FOR THE PAIN THAT CAN SOMETIMES BE FELT UNDER THE ELECTRODES?
There are certain areas where the skin has a greater number of sensitive nerve endings. A bad connection between the skin and the electrodes reduces the comfort level. You must therefore use electrodes when they are in good condition, apply them correctly to the skin and if necessary move them to a less sensitive area.
- WHERE DO I PLACE THE ELECTRODES?
Where to place the electrodes is indicated in the Compex manuals for the different muscle groups.
- WHICH INTENSITY LEVEL MUST BE REACHED FOR THE COMPLEMENTARY PROGRAMMES (RECOVERY, CAPILLARISATION)?
The Active Recovery and Capillarisation programmes do not require the use of maximum intensities. However, it is essential that the intensities are high enough to produce good, visible muscular twitches.
- WHICH INTENSITY LEVEL MUST BE REACHED FOR THE TRAINING PROGRAMMES (STRENGTH, RESISTANCE, ENDURANCE)?
The highest level possible (but it must remain bearable) in order to recruit the highest possible number of muscle fibres. The most effective way of deciding on the level is your own judgement the contractions must be powerful without ever becoming intolerable.
- WHICH INTENSITY LEVEL SHOULD BE REACHED DURING REST PHASES?
During rest phases, the intensity of the twitches is automatically set to 50% of the level for contractions. The aim of the twitches between the contractions is to increase blood flow to improve the recovery rate.
- WHY DO I ALSO FEEL TWITCHES DURING THE REST PHASES?
The muscle is also stimulated during the rest phases causing muscle twitches. These twitches help to improve recovery between contractions. They must be clearly visible.
- 2 YEAR + 1 YEAR GUARANTEE ON COMPEX DEVICES
Extend the guarantee on your Compex device free of charge! All you need to do is to register your Compex device on our website www.compex.info (before the end of the initial guarantee period).
- COMPARISON OF SWIM RECOVERY AND MUSCLE STIMULATION ON LACTATE REMOVAL AFTER SPRINT SWIMMING
Neric et al., Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Dec 2009, Volume 23(9) pp. 2560-2567.
Competitive swimming requires multiple bouts of high-intensity exercise, leading to elevated blood lactate. Active exercise recovery has been shown to lower lactate faster than passive resting recovery but may not always be practical.
This Californian study aimed to evaluate the effect of active recovery with electrical stimulation versus submaximal swimming recovery and passive resting recovery. Blood lactate levels were tested before and immediately after a 200 yard swimming sprint, as well as after 10 min (‘mid-recovery’) and 20 min (‘post-recovery’) of recovery. At both recovery assessments, blood lactate levels were most decreased with the submaximal swimming recovery method. However electrical muscle stimulation recovery also produced significantly better lactate reduction compared to resting recovery. Therefore the authors propose electrical stimulation as an alternate recovery treatment for the purpose of lowering blood lactate.
There may be situations in which the athlete has limited access to a pool, or is physically or psychologically exhausted and not motivated to continue to exercise, or simply seeks an alternate recovery treatment. In these situations, using electrical stimulation to produce muscle contractions while otherwise resting may be of benefit in helping reduce muscle and blood lactate before subsequent performance.
- COMPEX MI (MUSCLE INTELLIGENCE) EXCLUSIVE TECHNOLOGY
In the Products section you will find some stimulators preceded by the symbol mi-muscle intelligence. This unique technology takes account of the specificities of each of your muscles and thus offers stimulation adapted to their characteristics.
- It’s simple, since the data is transmitted to the stimulator automatically!
- It’s personalised, as each of our muscles is unique!
- Your training will be automatically personalised and so perfectly adapted to your physiology.
Thanks to the mi-SENSOR miniature sensor a new world of precision and effectiveness is opened up in your workout sessions!
mi-SENSOR is a small sensor that connects the stimulator to the electrodes. It is the key to measuring some physiological characteristics of the muscle.
Just before starting a work session using the MI-SCAN function, the MI-SENSOR senses the selected muscle group and automatically adjusts the stimulator settings to the excitability of this area of the body, depending on your own physiology. It is a truly personalised measurement. MI-SCAN adapts the electrostimulation session to the physiology of each user.
With the MI-ACTION function, the MI-SENSOR optimises the effectiveness of your session by letting you combine voluntary contractions and electrostimulated contractions at your own pace. You are truly in control of your training.
MI-ACTION is a work mode in which a voluntary muscular contraction is automatically accompanied by a contraction caused by electrostimulation.
The contraction caused by electrostimulation is therefore perfectly controlled, the workout session thus becomes more comfortable, increased and more complete.
With the mi-TENS function, the MI-SENSOR makes it easy to adjust the stimulation intensities to be used for pain management programmes. The adjustment takes place instantly and automatically, simplifying the procedure for the user and guaranteeing optimal results.
The MI-TENS function aims to identify and use the optimal stimulation intensity throughout the TENS programme (analgesic).
On the basis of the measurements taken regularly during the session, the device permanently and automatically readjusts the stimulation intensity to avoid any onset of muscular contraction, which is strongly counter-indicated for programmes of this type.
With the MI-RANGE function, the MI-SENSOR indicates the optimum stimulation intensity adjustment range (minimum and maximum) for lower frequency programmes such as Recovery or Massage.
Using MI-RANGE, you no longer need to ask yourself whether the intensity you are using is too high or too low: this function tells you, thus optimising the efficiency of your treatment or training.
- COMPEX: THE IDEAL AID IN GENERAL PHYSICAL PREPARATION FOR ATHLETES
Among the sports men and women using Compex, it is mainly high-level ones who have incorporated electrostimulation into their physical preparation and also to improve their recovery. Professional or national teams therefore regularly use Compex electrostimulation. Then there are the sports men and women concerned about improving their level of performance (and regardless at what level they are) who have discovered the effective help which electrostimulation could give them to achieve their objectives in terms of progression.
People doing a physical activity for leisure or occasional sports also use electrostimulation to complete their voluntary activity, or to progress more comfortably and gain more pleasure from their activities. A good example is the seasonal skier who will be able to prepare his or her muscular system a few weeks before his or her winter vacation by using appropriate electrostimulation programs and thus avoid the first painful days and the risk of injuries.
Most users use electrostimulation to improve their everyday comfort and their wellness, for example to relax muscles after a tiring day, to remove the sensation of heavy legs, to tone their body.
There are many medical indications of electrostimulation (electrotherapy), but it is mainly in the field of rehabilitation that electrostimulation is use the most. The rehabilitation departments of large public or private hospitals, the generalist or specialized rehabilitation centers (neurological, cardiological, pneumological, sports medicine, etc.) are big users of the Compex devices from the professional line. Most private physical therapy practices also have professional stimulators.
Compex promise to deliver your goods within 5 working days following confirmation of your order. Some Compex products are delivered within 10 working days.
- EFFECT OF THREE DIFFERENT BETWEEN-INNING RECOVERY METHODS ON BASEBALL PITCHING PERFORMANCE
Warren et al., Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, March 2011, Volume 25(3), pp. 683-688.
In baseball (and also other sports), in order to consistently perform at the highest level during competition, recovery of the muscles in the rest periods in between high performance innings is important.
In this Californian study, the authors compared the effectiveness of three forms of recovery in order to determine which one was most effective after an inning of pitching in baseball:
1. Passive recovery: no activity for 6 minutes
2. Active jogging recovery: 6 minutes jogging
3. Active EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) recovery: 6 minutes ‘active recovery’ programme with Compex Sport of the arm and shoulder muscles.
The active electrical muscle stimulation recovery with the Compex Sport produced the highest reduction in blood lactate levels as compared to the other recovery methods which had no significant effect on blood lactate. Reduction of blood lactate allows for the recovery of the muscle, which should allow for better performance in the subsequent pitching activity.
It was indeed measured that pitching speed following NMES recovery was higher compared to pitching speed after jogging recovery.
Psychological measurement showed that subjective, perceived recovery was also better after the Compex versus jogging recovery session, which may also potentially contribute to an increase in pitching performance during the next inning.
The authors recommend electrical muscle stimulation as the recovery method of choice for baseball pitchers because of superior blood lactate clearance and better self-reported recovery.
- EFFECTS OF AN ELECTROSTIMULATION TRAINING PROGRAM ON STRENGTH, JUMPING, AND KICKING CAPACITIES IN FOOTBALL PLAYERS
Billot et al., Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, May 2010, Vol. 24(5), pp. 1407-1413.
In this French study, a Compex Energy device was used to investigate the effect of a 5-week electrostimulation (EMS) training programme on muscular strength (quadriceps), kicking velocity, sprint, and vertical jump performance in football players.
20 male soccer players were randomly divided into two training groups:
- one group (EMS group) received EMS on the quadriceps muscles during 5 weeks (3 sessions of 12 minutes per week) and football training,
- the other group (control group) only had the soccer training.
On the Compex device the ‘Strength’ programme was selected at level 5.
The athletes were tested after 3 and 5 weeks training, and at both assessments they showed significant improvements in quadriceps muscle strength parameters as well as in ball speed performance, while these improvements were not seen in the control group.
The authors recommend the use of EMS to complement traditional training for football, as it appears to be a viable means for improving force and specific soccer tasks. It can also infuse variability into the training program, which might enhance the motivation of some players. Furthermore, the authors also recommend its use for injured athletes to attenuate or eliminate detraining effects.
EFFECTIVENESS: enhanced muscle recovery
- EFFECTS OF COMBINED ELECTROMYOSTIMULATION AND GYMNASTICS TRAINING IN PREPUBERTAL GIRLS
Deley et al., Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Feb 2011, Volume 25(2) pp. 520-526.
Strength training is an important training aspect in gymnasts because of the high explosive efforts that are required.
In this French study, a Compex Sport device was used to investigate the effects of a 6-week combined electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) and gymnastic training programme on muscle strength and vertical jump performance of prepubertal gymnasts.
16 young women gymnasts were randomly divided into two groups: one group received EMS training of the knee extensors in addition to the gymnastic training, and the other group (control group) received gymnastic training only.After the first 3 weeks of EMS training there was a significant increase in muscle strength of the knee extensors as well as jumping performance, whereas the control group showed no changes in the same parameters.The improvements in jump ability were still maintained 1 month after the end of the EMS training programme.
The authors suggest integrating short-term EMS strength training into the training of young gymnasts, for strength and jumping ability improvements.
- ELECTROMYOSTIMULATION TRAINING EFFECTS ON NEURAL DRIVE AND MUSCLE ARCHITECTURE
Gondin et al. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2005, Volume 37(8) pp. 1291-1299.
With electrical muscle stimulation being largely employed as a means of strength training, the authors of this French study wanted to investigate the adaptations that occur in the muscles and nerves that are subject to electrical muscle stimulation.
They divided 20 subjects into an electrostimulated group and a control group. The first group received an 8-week EMS training programme of the quadriceps muscles with a Compex Sport device.
Maximal muscle strength was increased by 27% after 8 weeks of EMS training, while no strength gains were noted in the control group.
On the neural level, the authors found that EMS training enhanced the overall activity of the stimulated muscle: the motor nerves are able to activate more muscle fibres with EMS. On the muscle level, EMS training produced increased quadriceps muscle mass (measured by cross sectional area of the muscle) and changes towards a more efficient muscle architecture. Neural adaptations occurred mainly during the first 4 weeks of training, while muscle adaptations became significant between 4 and 8 weeks of training.
It was concluded that the strength gains with electrical muscle stimulation training are associated with neural as well as muscular adaptations.
- HOW DOES ELECTRICAL MUSCLE STIMULATION WORK? WHAT IS IT USED FOR?
Yes, electrostimulation works and is a method recognized by the medical world.
It is now an integral part of physiotherapy and pain management protocols. It has been a technique used by physical therapists for many years.
Electrostimulation is not a miraculous technique, it respects how your body works.
The principle of electrostimulation is very simple and precisely reproduces the processes that occur when our brain orders muscles to contract. When we decide to contract a muscle, our brain sends a signal in the form of an electric current that travels at high speed along the nerve fibers up to the muscle which reacts by contracting.
In the case of electrostimulation, excitation occurs directly on the motor nerve using electrical pulses perfectly controlled to guarantee effectiveness, safety and comfort in use. In fact, muscles cannot tell the difference between a voluntary contraction (triggered by the brain) and an electrically induced contraction: the work done is exactly the same. It's natural!
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In this case, we recommend that you contact us directly by e-mail or telephone. Our contact details are shown in the Contact Us section.
- I WANT TO CHANGE MY PERSONAL INFORMATION
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If you move to another country, you will have to create a new personal account for that country.
- IS ELECTRICAL MUSCLE STIMULATION DANGEROUS?
It was initially in the medical domain that the electrostimulation technique was developed and proved its effectiveness, as backed up by numerous scientific publications made on its different indications. However, for many years, the currents used did not have the same characteristics as those authorized by current technology, which on the one hand prevented its use for numerous contraindications and on the other hand limited its results due to the difficulty in sometimes reaching a minimum threshold of efficiency. Today, contraindications are rare (implanted defibrillator-pacemaker, epilepsy, abdomen of pregnant women) and the efficiency considerably improved with the combined effect of significant technological progress and huge advances made in the field of physiology.
The quality of the micro-impulses generated by the Compex stimulators enable the accumulation of electricity in the tissues and the resulting risk of burning to be avoided. Hence, even long-term or continuous applications, as is sometimes the case for some pain relief programs, present no risk of burning.
Neither has any undesirable effect ever been experienced in subjects using electrostimulation on a daily basis for many years, as is sometimes the case for some medical indications.
All the stimulators in the Compex line, including those designed to be used by individuals, comply with all European and international standards on medical devices and guarantee completely safe use.
The most spectacular progress has been recorded for the indications of electrostimulation that consist of developing muscular qualities and are similar to muscle building. Indeed, given the power of the muscular contractions induced by stimulation, it is legitimate to analyze the potential risk on joints or tendons as well as on the muscle itself.
AND FOR MY JOINTS?
The basic use of electrostimulation consists of working on a muscle whose length does not vary when it contracts (isometric contraction). This imposes a static workout, without movement, in an intermediary position where pressures on joints are reduced to their minimum value. A workout using electrostimulation is therefore particularly "economical" for joints, particularly if we compare it to some voluntary exercises requiring great movements and often carried out at high speed, which is very restrictive for the joints.
AND FOR MY TENDONS?
The tendon is a fibrous elastic structure running alongside the muscle fibers enabling the solid anchoring of certain muscles on the bone structure.
Just like muscle tissue, the tendon develops in response to the request made of it. As it runs alongside the muscle, muscular contraction induces a state of tension which spreads to the tendon. The same occurs when the contraction is initiated by stimulation. It is an illusion that stimulation only allows the muscular tissue on which the tendinous tissue relies to develop, causing an imbalance along it that could be harmful for the tendon.
ELECTROSTIMULATION AND MUSCLE
Correctly used, electrostimulation causes contractions that are even more spectacular when they are localized on a single muscle or muscular group. Motivated individuals familiar with the technical develop up to 100% of their maximum strength simply through electrostimulation and without any voluntary participation.
Despite this, no muscular injury such as tearing has ever happened during an electrostimulation session, even in people who use maximum intensities. The reason why muscles tear is obviously when they are put under great pressure but above all when the muscle contracts abruptly as is sometimes the case when practising certain sports. In electrostimulation, the muscle contracts progressively, over a time at least triple that where the risk of muscle tearing is present.
- IS ELECTRICAL MUSCLE STIMULATION PAINFUL?
Most often during stimulation you will feel a simple tingling sensation caused by the stimulation current, which is inevitable. However, the high quality of the Compex currents guarantees you get the most comfortable stimulation current possible.
Let's consider two types of electrical muscle stimulation programs which do not produce the same sensations:
- Pain relief and wellness: the electric sensation is light, hardly perceptible for some people. It is restricted to tingling or tickling, so a completely comfortable sensation.
- Muscle building: for the muscle building programs, the "electric" sensation may be more pronounced, however, most often, it is the power of the contractions which limits the progression, much more than the "electric" sensation. All users quickly get used to the sensation felt, which makes progression quite easy.
Why is it encouraged to use the maximum intensity tolerable for muscle reinforcement type programs?
When aiming to develop muscular qualities, the intensity of stimulation is crucial. The higher this intensity of stimulation, the higher the percentage of muscle fibers that are working. You must always therefore work with the maximum intensity you are able to tolerate.
To make progress, you will have to increase the intensities used throughout each session and also from one session to the next. This is why when an electrostimulation session is serious training, it is not always pleasant and it is not possible to perform another activity at the same time.
- IS MUSCLE STIMULATION NATURAL?
Muscle stimulation is not a doping technique.
It is a perfectly safe and uniquely complementary technique of voluntary training. This technique is capable of inducing muscular stability (or facilitating recovery) resulting from a high intensity muscular activity, that is very different from a purely passive technique that does not require the serious involvement or the motivation of the athlete.
No national or international sports body or federation, including the International Olympics Committee, assimilates the use of electrostimulation to a doping practice or bans the use of this technique.
There are many reasons for this position:
NO HARMFUL EFFECT ON HEALTH
No harmful effect on health whether in the short, medium or long term has ever been recorded ; even in subjects using this technique daily for many years, as is sometimes necessary for some medical situations.
THE EFFECT IS NATURAL
The electricity possesses no property which would enable the slightest artificial development of the neuro-muscular system. The effect is natural.
THE MUSCLE CONTRACTIONS ARE COMPARABLE TO THOSE OF VOLUNTARY TRAINING
The muscular gains generated by electrostimulation are only the consequence of the work (= the contractions) done by the muscle, in response to the stimulation of its motor nerve. To be effective, the muscle contractions that are electrically induced must necessarily be powerful, Gilles Cometti of the Performance Expertise Center of the University of Dijon, considered that minimum tension at least equal to 60% of maximum strength was required in trained athletes, in order to increase strength, which requires a certain amount of self-sacrifice, comparable to what is required in numerous sessions of voluntary training.
MUSCULAR WISDOM : A MUSCLE USED EXCESSIVELY BY ELECTROSTIMULATION BECOMES EXHAUSTED AND ENDS UP NO LONGER CONTRACTING
There is a saturation phenomenon which the Anglo-Saxons call ‘muscle wisdom’ whose effect is that a muscle used excessively (too long or too often) by electrostimulation becomes exhausted and ends up no longer contracting in response to stimulation. This therefore excludes the use of long term exposures which are completely ineffective.
COMPLEMENTARY AND NON-SUBSTITUTIVE TECHNIQUE OF VOLUNTARY TRAINING
Electrostimulation is a complementary and non-substitutive technique of voluntary training. In fact, sports performance is the sum of numerous qualities: cardiovascular, technical… and muscular, the sole component on which electrostimulation is effective. The story of the athlete who has improved his performance after replacing his voluntary training sessions with electrostimulation sessions is nothing more than a crazy myth.
RECOVERY PROGRAMS ARE NOT LIKELY TO IMPROVE MUSCULAR PERFORMANCE
Another indication of neuro-muscular electrostimulation is its use to encourage recovery after a workout. This is achieved using specific active recovery programs which do not require the same self-sacrifice constraints as "muscle building" type programs. The effects are vascular (increase in blood flow), pain relief (release of endorphins) and decontracting and are achieved using a low muscular activity which is not likely to improve muscular performance, even if the sessions are repeated in excess.
- IS HIGH-FREQUENCY NEUROMUSCULAR ELECTRICAL STIMULATION A SUITABLE TOOL FOR MUSCLE PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT IN BOTH HEALTHY HUMANS AND ATHLETES?
Gondin et al., European Journal of Applied Physiology, Oct 2011, Vol. 111(10), pp. 2473-87.
In this French study, the authors reviewed the literature with the purpose of giving an overview of the benefits and limitations of electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) in healthy individuals, recreational and competitive athletes.
- EMS training results in significant increase of muscle strength. When combined with dynamic voluntary exercises, EMS can also improve sport specific skills and performance, like jump performance and sprint ability.
- EMS is an interesting training tool for athletes because during electrical stimulation the ‘fast-twitch’ muscle fibres can be activated more easily at lower force levels, whereas during voluntary exercise these fibres are usually recruited for higher power levels.
- EMS appears as a method of choice when the time available for the strengthening programme is limited and also it provides diversity and variability in the training programme, which might enhance athlete's motivation.
The authors conclude there is compelling evidence that electrical stimulation is a relevant and efficient complement to voluntary resistance training protocols for muscle strength improvement. It is also a legal complement for athletes (e.g. as compared to doping procedures).
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- LISTENING TO CUSTOMERS
The Compex Customer Service Department will be pleased to take your telephone calls from Monday to Friday. You will find the numbers and times below and in the Contact Us section.
- SECURE PAYMENT
All transactions carried out on the Compex Store site are handled via a secure bank website. The totally electronic, encrypted procedure guarantees full security for payments. Since information is entered directly on the payment provider’s website by means of a secured channel, no-one within the Company will see your card data.
- THE CONTRAINDICATIONS OF ELECTRICAL MUSCLE STIMULATION
Contraindications of electrostimulation are rare:
- People fitted with electronic devices such as pace-makers and intra-cardiac defibrillators.
- People suffering from epilepsy.
- Stimulate the abdominal area in pregnant women.
- Place the electrodes on the front and sides of the neck.
- Stimulate the thoracic area of people with cardiac arrhythmia.
- Stimulate the lower legs in case of venous thrombosis or severe arterial obstruction (ischemia).
- Stimulate the abdominal area in case of abdominal or inguinal hernia.
- In case of particular health problems, it is always recommended that you seek the advice of a healthcare professional.
- THE RESPONSIBILITY OF A LEADER
When you choose Compex, the leading brand in electrotherapy, you can be sure to benefit from: • The effectiveness of our devices. Our products are developed with the greatest of care and use all the latest technological innovations. Of course, you can also be assured that our products are produced according to all currently applicable safety standards. • With honesty and integrity. It is also a leader's responsibility to guarantee that its promises are kept. Before we put forward the benefits of using our device, the applications are tested at length, put through their paces by health professionals and are the subject of scientific studies. • Personalised support and guidance. To help you get the most from our devices, Compex electrotherapy pays particular attention to drafting extremely detailed user manuals. Compex will give full attention to your telephone calls or e-mails to answer your questions. Compex has also set up high-quality Internet sites to help you get started with your device.
- WHO CAN USE ELECTROSTIMULATION?
For many years, electrostimulation was used solely by healthcare professionals such as physical therapists. Over time, athletes who have discovered the benefits of electrostimulation in healing their injuries have picked up on this technique to help improve their muscular performance. Electrostimulation has now become a technique that is accessible to everyone.
- to optimize their muscular qualities: what works on wasted or weakened muscles also works on healthy muscles. With electrostimulation, the muscles selected can be given a very intense workout. This workout can be customized to develop specific qualities depending on the program selected: endurance, strength or resistance for example
- to speed up recovery after an intense workout and limit aches and pains.
- to prevent injuries, for example twisted ankles, by reinforcing certain muscles (in this case the peroneal muscles).
- to relieve pain, for example tendon problems or muscle contraction problems.
Those who want to stay in good shape
- A sedentary lifestyle has harmful effects on the muscular system. Muscles lose power, become tired more easily and are no longer able to perform correctly their role of maintaining the skeleton and the different organs. Other than the detrimental consequences on the shape of the body, this muscular insufficiency can be the cause of pain, for example lumbar pains whose frequency is increased in people without efficient abdominal muscles.
- Electrostimulation can restore or maintain a toned muscular system capable of ensuring effective maintenance of the body and preventing numerous pains.
Physical therapists talk about electrotherapy. They use it particularly for rehabilitation:
- Forr example after being unable to move for a while due to an injury, muscles lose certain qualities that electrostimulation will help find again. Physical therapists therefore use electrostimulation to strengthen certain muscles.
- Hemiplegics for whom electrostimulation is used to improve their ability to raise the ball of the foot and improve control of their muscles.
- treating different forms of incontinence and preventing it after labour.
- relieving chronic or acute pains, for example cervical pains, lumbago or lumbosciatica.
- improving the disorders of people suffering from circulatory problems.This can range from the feeling of heavy legs to arterial insufficiency which often reduces the walking range of these people due to pain.
- People suffering from pain. Pain is a sign that can be caused by many things. Relieving pain is now a priority for which electrostimulation is ideal. Bad backs, joint pains and neuralgia are common indications of electrostimulation for pain relief which can be done at home or under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
Electrostimulation has huge benefits, including:
- making the muscles work without putting too much strain on joints, as is the case with weights used with traditional muscle building equipment.
- being able to target precisely a muscular group to work on ; This is very useful for physical therapists who can thus maintain the qualities of the muscles which are impossible to use when a person is immobilized. It is also very useful for athletes who want to have a workout on the muscles more specifically involved in their discipline.
- being able to combine muscular stimulation with pain relief treatment to make some patients recover quicker.
- being able to relieve pain by avoiding or limiting the use of drugs that cause unwanted side effects.