Monday, February 2, 2009

The use of H-wave device in sports medicine

The H-Wave Device is said to Induce:
1. Non-Dependent Augmented Microcirculation and Angiogenesis.
2. Provides Both Analgesia and Tissue Healing

H-Wave device is manufactured by Electronic Waveform Lab, Inc., Huntington Beach, CA, USA. It is hypothesized that the H-Wave device is a small-diameter fiber stimulator. In recent years there is a paradigm shift of electrotherapeutic treatment of pain associated with human neuropathies and sports injuries. The current idea is based on a number of its (H-Wave device) properties.

Salient points:

The following pathways are said to be involved in the therapeutic results obtained by the H-Wave device.

1. The primary effect of H-Wave device stimulation (HWDS) is the stimulation of "red-slow-twitch" skeletal muscle fibers.
2. Many claim that the unique waveform of the H-Wave device specifically and directly stimulates the small smooth muscle fibers within the lymphatic vessels ultimately leading to fluid shifts and reduced edema.
3. In unpublished rat studies, it has been observed that HWDS induces protein clearance.
4. The H-Wave device was designed to stimulate an ultra low frequency (1-2 Hz), low tension, nontetanizing, and nonfatiguing contraction, which closely mimics voluntary or natural muscle contractions. The H-Wave device can stimulate small fibers due in part to its exponentially decaying waveform and constant current generator activity.

Advantages of H-Wave device over other electrotherapeutic devices:
1. The main advantage of these technologies over currently applied electrical stimulators (eg, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator [TENS], interferential [IF], neuromuscular electrical stimulation [NMES], high-volt galvanic, etc.) is that H-Wave's small fiber contraction does not trigger an activation of the motor nerves of the large white muscle fibers or the sensory delta and C pain nerve fibers, thus eliminating the negative and painful effects of tetanizing fatigue, which reduces transcapillary fluid shifts.
2. Another function of the H-Wave device is an anesthetic effect on pain conditions, unlike a TENS unit which in the short term activates a hypersensory overload effect (gate theory) to stop pain signals from reaching the thalamic region of the brain.
3. When the H-Wave device is used at high frequency (60 Hz), it acts intrinsically on the nerve to deactivate the sodium pump within the nerve fiber, leading to a long-lasting anesthetic/analgesic effect due to an accumulative postsynaptic depression.
4. Moreover, HWDS produces a nitric oxide (NO)-dependent enhancement of microcirculation and angiogenesis in rats. It is hypothesized that because of these innate properties of the H-Wave device, it may provide a paradigm shift for the treatment of both short- and long-term inflammatory conditions associated with pain due to sports injuries.
A recent meta-analysis found a moderate-to-strong effect of the H-Wave device in providing pain relief, reducing the requirement for pain medication, and increasing functionality. The most robust effect was observed for improved functionality, suggesting that the H-Wave device may facilitate a quicker return to the field.

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