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09/May/20
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What is the difference and what should I know?

Workout recovery is just as important as the workout itself, which is why it’s necessary to understand and find the right tools that work for you. While every recovery path and exercise is different, the tools you use to for recovery assistance stay the same, from simple stretches to handheld tools and devices.

Two of the most popular tools around come to mind, and we are here to break them down and explain the benefits of both, as well as what they are good for and what they can do. Different tools are used for different things, which provides you with the chance and opportunity to enhance your experience, whether that be athletic performance, or recovery from an injury. We will go over the Massage gun, and the Hyperblade.

Massage guns are favorites on the market with both professional trainers and athletes, to everyday gym users and office workers. They are extremely versatile and have many functions and uses. You can use the Massage gun to relieve your daily stress and tension (like your upper back and shoulders) and tackle those aggressive trigger points that you find.

What it can do:

  1. Multiple attachments allow you to target small, and hard to reach areas.
  2. Provide almost instant relief from sore muscles and aches.
  3. Variable speeds allow deeper and more intense massage in areas that needs a little bit of more action.

What it can’t do:

  1. No gentle setting: Some massage guns are very strong, and some areas need a lighter touch than what is available.
  2. Loud: Some massage guns are loud, and when you are in a quiet clinic having manual therapy done, you will hear it across the room.

Best for:

    1. People who sit a lot or need to stretch every day.
    2. People who need deep relief from daily tension.
    3. Targeted relief.

The Hyperblade differs from the Massage gun in two major points. The first one is the electric stimulation. The Hyperblade offers NMES technology, which emits a small micro-current to stimulate your muscles and provide relief. The second difference is the vibrational technology. The Hyperblade uses vibrational tech to stimulate the muscle, while Massage guns use Percussion therapy (beating it over and over) to stimulate the area. The Hyperblade is also used as a Gua Shua scraping tool, and has various uses.

What it can do:

  1. Stimulate nerves and muscles.
  2. Enhance blood flow to affected areas.
  3. Multi-use, Use with or without stimulation.
  4. Targeted relief.

What it can’t do:

  1. Give you a deep or intense massage like a massage gun. (Percussion therapy)
  2. Hard to use on difficult to reach areas.

 

Best for:

  1. Everyday use
  2. Professional therapists or fitness enthusiasts.
  3. Professional athletes.
  4. People who use TENS units, and need a portable way to get relief.

Final Takeaways

Both of these units are great for muscle rehabilitation and muscle stimulation, and allow you to take your progress on the road and on the go. The Hyperblade is used by professionals and can be used with many specialized techniques. The massage gun can be used by everyone and is a great addition to any person. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.


22/Feb/20

Whether you are looking for a therapist to recover from an injury, or looking for a tool to boost your fitness and strength, electrical stimulation might be in your future. There are many types of Electrical muscle stimulators, (EMS) and they work in different ways, and come in many different shapes and sizes. The primary ones we will talk about in this article are TENS units (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), and NMES units (Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation). These units work in the same way, but target different nerves and areas of the body, so it’s important to know what is best for you, and what would benefit you the most. It’s important to note that TENS units target the sensory nerves of the body, and NMES units target the motor nerves of the body. Many people have experienced these types of devices, more than likely at a physical therapist’s office, however the information given to them was limited. In this article we will go over the two types of nerves these units affect, and the primary differences of NMES and TENS units.

SENSORY NERVES

The sensory nerves are part of the PNS (Peripheral Nervous System) and contribute to the processing of input from the environment. This could be a simple touch, to being pushed. This system allows the body to gather information, and sends it to the brain for processing. Once the brain processes the information given to it, a signal is sent to that area of the body to act. For example, if you touch a hot stove, sensory nerves send the signal to the brain, the brain thinks “I should move my hand” and you move your hand. This information is sent and processed at an extremely fast rate. This is known as motor function, which is the response to the information.

MOTOR NERVES

Motor nerves are directly involved in neuromuscular activity and control. Motor behavior is primarily learned and enhanced through stimulation of these nerves so it’s important to understand how they react, and what they are involved in. Motor nerves are involved in appropriating signals from the CNS to the peripheral nerves. Motor nerves are directly involved in muscles control, because these nerves tend to be directly 

attached to the muscles. “Motor nerve axon terminals innervate skeletal and smooth muscle, as they are heavily involved in muscle control.”(1) Motor nerves are directly involved in enhanced

muscle stimulation, enhancing muscle torque and power, and creating a stimulating environment for muscles to thrive in. (2)

NMES VS TENS

So what is the main difference between these two types of stimulation? The two main differences is the stimulation type, and area it affects. NMES stimulation targets the MOTOR nerves. Directly affecting the muscle and stimulating the area. This creates more muscle contraction, which means more muscle fiber involvement and stimulation. While TENS units target the sensory nerves, where the brain interprets the signal, primarily causing the muscle to contract, without the use of all the muscle fibers. These two might be similar, however depending on what your goals are, and what part of the rehabilitative process you are in, one might be better than the other. 

“The use of NMES to gain muscle strength or performance in high-level athletes has been employed with frequencies by physiotherapists who work in sports. It was found that the medium frequency current is more comfortable and is able to generate a peak torque significantly higher than the low-frequency current.” (3)

This means NMES technology can not only assist in the rehabilitative process for serious injuries, but also assist in top athletic performance. Assisting in a natural boost in performance due to the enhanced muscle stimulation and enriched environment caused from this stimulating effect.

Conclusion

There seems to be many different types of uses for Electrical stimulation, and the studies continue to pour in. Electrical stimulation studies have only just begun to gain true traction and value, and we are already beginning to see a vast array or uses and results stemming from these. There are many different types of tools, and different types of stimulators, so it’s important to understand the difference between them, and understand how you react to these types of stimulations and tools. Ask your physical therapist for advice!


Koop, Lindsey K. “Neuroanatomy, Sensory Nerves.” StatPearls [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 7 Apr. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK539846/.

“Motor Nerve.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 5 Feb. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_nerve.

Pinfildi, Carlos Eduardo, et al. “NEUROMUSCULAR ELECTRICAL STIMULATION OF MEDIUM AND LOW FREQUENCY ON THE QUADRICEPS FEMORIS.” Acta Ortopedica Brasileira, ATHA EDITORA, 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6220661/.