We hear from Managing Director of Stronglines Physio Clinic, Fred Braithwaite, as he tells us how Compex assists them on their mission to rehabilitating their clients.
Compex is an awesome product. We have used it at Stronglines for years. We have used it post surgically, to facilitate muscle recruitment and to utilise eccentric overload without direct joint stress. We like it because it works and it fits perfectly into the rehab process.
At Stronglines we are very selective with the clinical intervention we use. Often products that physio’s use are trying to replace hands on treatment or apply some mystical powers to the area with very little clinical reasoning at all. Compex is NOT this.
Compex is unique in its ability as it is not trying to replace anything. It acts as an adjunct to accelerate treatment and allows the therapist and client to work together toward a common goal. It is the only clinical intervention that really facilitates active rehabilitation. Aside from it being the best in the market, it also has products available for both clinicians and clients. This makes it clinically relevant and applicable as the client can take home the benefits from using it in clinic.
We view it as a useful clinical tool to facilitate 3 main things:
#1 MUSCLE INHIBITION (see video)
- In the first clip you see near total involuntary contraction of the quads. The Compex is extending the knee joint almost entirely. For the client, it is uncomfortable yes, but it gives fantastic input and the benefits far outweigh the discomfort.
- Even if there is total 100% muscle inhibition we can fire it up and gain some afferent input as well as stimulating all muscle fibres to help prevent as much atrophy.
#2 NEUROMUSCULAR REPROGRAMMING (see video)
- The second clip is a patterning exercise, this a nice way to create or reinforce the engram without excessive load but offers a real challenge for lower limb control also.
- The electrodes are on the glute and quads in this
- Once the muscle is firing we can put it into a functional pattern and use Compex to turn the heat up on it.
#3 MUSCULAR CAPACITY (see video)
- The third clip is a squat to build capacity in the movement. The Compex creates a massive eccentric component which will bring on serious DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) with very little volume or intensity.
- The electrodes are on the glute and quads for this.
- Once the muscle is patterned we can build capacity with very little loading. Whilst the Compex is on there is little fatigue, but the eccentric component creates superb adaptation.
#4 ECCENTRIC OVERLOAD (see video)
- The fourth clip is an example of loading with Compex. Again you can use relatively low loads but yield high stimulus with Compex.
- The electrodes are again on the glutes and quads.
- Get the most from the protective and restorative effects of eccentric training using Compex. The DOMS from Compex are second to none! This means micro trauma, which means supercompensation leading to a solid recovery.
With all these benefits clinically, you can also use it to recover from sessions with the massage settings. That’s why we love Compex. It is so useful for all clients, from post-surgical, to athletes, to weekend warriors it has a huge potential application.
Physiotherapist and L1 CrossFit Trainer, TJ García walks us through integrating Compex with your functional training routine.
Compex: Hi TJ, hope you're well! What benefits does Compex give you for your functional training?
TJ García: Sometimes functional training focuses on all-over exercises such as squats, dead lifting, and others. But we mustn’t forget the need for exercises that target specific areas, in order to avoid potential imbalances that can stop us from seeing improvements from these workouts. In these cases, electrical stimulation can help us to work on a specific muscle, such as the gluteus medius through squats, to make sure that the knee doesn’t go inwards.
It also helps us to gain strength since electrical stimulation helps us increase the number of muscular fibres that respond to contraction, making it more powerful and efficient. We can also work on muscle resistance to make the muscles more resistant to fatigue. It is a great help in recovery, because it helps our muscles to relax, and it vascularises the area, cleaning waste products away from the muscle, which are generated when we train.
Other benefits are the convenience of being able to stick on some electrodes anywhere, at a competition, in the car, before and after training, and with wireless technology you can easily include it in your training.
Compex: How would you define Compex in 3 words?
TJ García: Effective, convenient and versatile.
Compex: Do you have any tips for anyone starting functional training?
TJ García: Always start off with a good trainer who corrects your technique, and have the patience to learn to do the movements properly.
Compex: What is it that makes functional training attractive and essential to you?
TJ García: The fact that it helps us become more agile and stronger for our daily life, for lifting suitcases or children, having a strong and healthy back, being able to run after your child or your niece or nephew without getting out of breath, at the end of the day it helps us enjoy life more.