AMPLITUDE (Intensity): The level of output current produced by a unit. Typically given in milliamperes peak (thousandths of an ampere < mA > ). Constant current unit's voltage varies to deliver required current to electrodes
BURST MODE: A series of higher frequency pulses delivered in bursts at a low rate. Designed for patient comfort and is sometimes substituted for acupuncture-like TENS
DUTY CYCLE (Control found on NMS units): Stimulation ON-OFF times to maximize muscle contraction and minimize fatigue.
ELECTRIC FIELD: A force field which defines what acceleration an electric charge placed at rest at any point in space will feel. Electric charges cause electric fields around them, which then apply a force to any other electric charge placed in the field. The electric field E has both a magnitude and a direction at each point in space, and the magnitude and direction of the resulting force on a charge q at that point is given by F= qE. When you get a shock from a door handle after scuffing your feet on a carpet you feel the effect of an electric field accelerating electrons.
ELECTROANALGESIA: A term used to describe the use of electricity to provide pain relief. More info...
ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVE (em): Electromagnetic waves make up the electromagnetic spectrum.Visible light, ultraviolet, infrared, radio and TV signals are all examples of "everyday" em waves. X-rays, microwaves and high energy photons or gamma rays are also electromagnetic waves.
FARADIC CURRENT: Alternating current (A/C) biphasic current designed to deliver no DC current to the patient's body. Used for pain control and NMS
FREQUENCY (Rate): The fequency of a signal in pulses per second (Hertz or Hz.).
GALVANIC STIMULATION: Direct (DC) or monophasic current which delivers electrical energy (net DC) to the patient's body. May be delivered in pulsed form. Mainly used for edema reduction and and increasing or decreasing circulation in a specific site on the body. See High Volt Galvanic
IMPEDANCE: A substance that impedes the flow of current (skin, fat etc.) Sometimes referred to as "resistance". Measured in "ohms". Ohm's Law: Current = Voltage/Impedance
INTERFERENTIAL CURRENT (IFC): is a medium frequency waveform. Current is distributed through two channels (four electrodes). The currents cross each other in the body at the area requiring treatment. The two currents interfere with each other at this crossing point, resulting in a modulation of the intensity (the current intensity increases and decreases at the beat frequency). See Interferential stimulators
LASER THERAPY: A form of electrotherapy that is used to produce a concentrated beam of light to stimulate tissue healing and reduce pain, inflammation and swelling. It is thought to aid healing of soft-tissue injuries, skin conditions, scars and open wounds.
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) is a non-invasive imaging technique that uses a combination of a large magnet, radio frequencies, and a computer to generate images of internal structures and organs of the body without using x-ray radiation and surgery. More info...
MICROCURRENT (Microamperage, MENS): Uses low output wide pulse width. Output current is usually less than 600 microamps. Indications of success are largely anecdotal. See Microcurrent Stimulators
MICROCOULOMB: The total energy in a pulse. Typically the amplitude (mA) x the width (Ásec.).
MODULATION MODE: Automatic cyclic change in waveform parameters (frequency, pulse duration, and/or amplitude) designed to prevent accommodation
NMS: Neuromuscular Stimulation (used for muscle re-ed, prevention of disuse atrophy, range of motion). See NMS / EMS muscle stimulators
PULSE DURATION (Pulse Width): The measure of time duration of a pulse. Usually indicated in microseconds (millionths of a second < Ásec. > )
PULSED SHORTWAVE THERAPY: A form of electrotherapy that produces an electromagnetic field that generates heat within tissues. It is thought to promote healing, reduce swelling and provide pain relief in soft-tissue injuries, slow-healing wounds, sinusitis and conditions affecting the pelvic area.
RISE TIMES/DECAY TIMES (Control found on NMS units): Ramps amplitude of stimulation current, both up and down, to improve user comfort and thus encourage compliance.
RUSSIAN CURRENT: This is a 2,500 Hz carrier wave, interrupted to create pulse trains or "bursts." The number of bursts per second is determined by the burst frequency and the length of the bursts is determined by the duty cycle.
STRENGTH DURATION MODE: Utilizes a stimulation signal which tracks the Strength Duration (SD) curve. The SD curve is a family of curves -- on for each nerve type which relates the nerve firing threshold to the amplitude and pulse width of the stimulating signal.
TENS (TNS, TES): Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. (Used for pain control.) produces symptomatic pain relief by stopping the nerves sending pain signals to the brain and stimulating the release of endorphins - our bodies' natural painkillers. TENS machines are increasingly available in chemists for personal use. The device usually consists of a small battery-operated unit and electrodes with gel pads that stick to the skin. See TENS stimulators
ULTRASOUND: is a form of electrotherapy that uses high-frequency sound waves (vibrations) to treat injuries to muscles, tendons and other soft tissues. It stimulates blood circulation and cell activity, speeds up the healing process, reduces scars forming, and may provide pain relief. See Ultrasound Units
WAVEFORM: A pictorial representation of stimulation signal as seen on an oscilloscope. Usually seen as amplitude (current) vs time (sec).