In this Zynex NexWave TENS Unit Review, we will explain how the device work, and most importantly does the NexWave TENS help with pain management.
Let’s start the review with one of our resident patient’s personal experience.
“When I had an accident that resulted in the paralysis of one side of my body, I thought it was the end of my world. I experienced so much pain that often made me scream and cry at the same time. That’s why my physical therapist sought solutions other than drugs to help relieve my pain and build up my atrophied muscle. That’s when I discover the Zynex NexWave” – David
Injuries, muscle atrophy and other pain-inducing conditions often make one depend on opioids, muscle relaxants, over the counter drugs (OTC) etc. These medications often have side effects and other long-term issues. Therefore, medical devices that incorporate technologies such as neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), interferential current (IFC) or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). The Zynex NexWave is a good example and a lifesaver.
What’s more, they are often portable and can be used at home, work etc.
What is IFC, NMES and TENS? How do they apply in my condition? What is Zynex NexWave? How does it work? Those popular questions and more are what we will be answering in this review article.
What is Interferential Current (IFC) or Interferential Therapy?
Interferential current or therapy is the use of electric current to stimulate nerves for the purpose of pain relief and other benefits.
It is a type of therapy that takes advantage of low frequency instead of superficial nerve stimulation, and it is known for its deeper penetration. Hence, consequently, its therapeutic effects.
The use of low frequency to stimulate nerves is often associated with discomfort and pain due to the difference in the skin and the electrical stimulation. What this means is that:
Low frequency = greater impedance (greater resistance)
Higher frequency = lower impedance (lower resistance)
However, unlike other types of treatment modalities that make use of this principle (Low frequency), interferential current machines deliver higher frequencies that interfere to give a beat frequency (resultant low frequency). These higher frequencies can penetrate the skin and cause fewer discomfort or pain.
The principle behind this IFC machines is that the electrodes delivering these high frequencies are crossed to give a resultant medium or low frequency.
When two electrodes of 4100Hz are crossed with other electrodes of 4000Hz, the resultant or beat frequency that will finally stimulate the nerve is 100Hz.
IFC works like a TENS unit; it’s just that it yields better results and a more intense therapeutic effect.
The best it can explain by comparing it with TENS.
Tip: NeuroTrac TENS Device can relieve pains too.
What is Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation (TENS)?
Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation or TENS is the process of administering voltages or electrical stimulation to superficial nerves for the purpose of pain relief etc. It can be used both in the hospital and at home.
There is not much difference between IFC and TENS units, except the fact that IFC currents interfere to give a resultant frequency or electric current. The overall results and use are the same except that IFC effects are more intense.
Compared with IFC and TENS, the NMES is a bit more different.
Tip: XFT 320A TENS Machine comes with an Acupuncture Pen.
What is Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES)?
NMES denotes neuromuscular electrical stimulation and can also be called electrical muscle stimulation (EMS).
It is the use of electrical current to stimulate muscle contractions. It mimics the stimulating action of the central nervous system.
EMS is particularly useful for people with partial or full paralysis, used in muscle building or strength training for trainers and for testing muscular function etc.
Notice the similarities between IFC, TENS and NMES? All of them utilize electrical stimuli or impulses to deliver their impact within the body.
How Do They Work?
IFC, TENS and NMES (EMS) technologies and home-based innovations usually come in a portable form. They deliver their impulses through electrodes. These electrical impulses are generated by the battery.
The electrodes are adhesive pads with wire attached at the ends.
Tip: Are you with migraine? Then Cefaly Anti-migraine Device might be a better option.
What are the Side Effects of IFC, TENS, NMES?
They are generally safe for most people, but here are some possible side effects.
- You may experience a tingling feeling or pin-pricks in the area that it is being utilized
- Some people can be allergic to the adhesive pads.
- This often presents as itchiness or redness in the area that the electrodes were attached. However, you can choose electrodes with hypoallergenic adhesive pads.
- As a pregnant woman, you may experience possible complications. Therefore, pregnant women are advised not to use them without the advise of their doctor.
- People with pacemakers and heart problems are to contact their doctors before using, since it may lead to complications.
Now let’s turn into the device we review in this article, which is based on the above 3 technologies.
What is Zynex NexWave?
Zynex Medical Inc. is part of three subsidiaries of the company founded in 1996 by Thomas Sandgaard.
It is a medical manufacturer of electrotherapy products for pain relief and management.
Zynex Nexwave is one of their products from the line of electrotherapy products. It is a device that incorporates IFC, TENS, NMES as unique all in one unit.
Features and Pros of Zynex NexWave
- It comes with the following accessories: electrodes, lead wires, AC adapter.
- It has a 5-year warranty.
- Have a battery compartment where you can insert the battery.
- A display that is backlit.
- Have belt clip.
- It incorporates 3 functions (IFC, NMES and TENS) in one.
- It comes with 9 pre-programmed modes for the best experience.
- It has a Timer built-in for easy regulation.
- It has a compliance meter which compiles the number of times and the total times the device has been used.
Cons of Zynex NexWave
- It is expensive. So, you may wish to check if your insurance can cover the cost.
- Have a bad return or refund policy.
What is Zynex Nexwave Used For? | Indications
Since Zynex Nexwave integrates varieties of modalities like IFC, NMES and TENS, it’s used for the management of following medical conditions.
- Treatment of post-traumatic pain in hospitals and at home.
- Treatment and management of post-surgical pain in hospital and at home.
- Promoting blood circulation, and hence stimulating healing.
- To support physical therapy
- Preventing muscle degeneration
or building up of degenerated or atrophied muscles in paralysis etc.
How to Set NexWave for Optimul Stimulation?
It’s covered in this video.
When Should You Not Use Zynex NexWave?
You are not to use Nexwave under the following conditions or in the following areas.
- Have pacemakers, defibrillators implanted in your body.
- Heart conditions as this can lead to further complications
- If you have the electrodes placed in the front of your neck or at the carotid sinus.
- To place on your head or transcerebrally.
- Electrodes should not be placed on the swollen, infected area of skin or on any skin conditions.
Do You Need a Prescription for NexWave?
Yes, you do need a prescription to use this product.
That’s because a doctor needs to diagnose your condition and also make sure that you will not suffer complications that are avoidable from the use of this product. A copy of a form that your doctor needs to fill before faxing over directly to the Zynex headquarters is downloadable from the website.
Note, however, that after prescribing this device for you, it is not mandatory to use it only in the hospital under supervision. The device is made to be portable and can be used at home, work etc.
How to Take Zynex Treatment? How Does It Work?
Follow these steps for the best outcomes.
- Use battery-operated mode (by inserting the battery in the battery compartment at the back) or plug in the device to a power supply using AC adapter.
- Insert the lead wires (black and grey) in the area located on top of the device.
- Press the ON/OFF button
- For IFC treatment, press the IFC button located in front of the device.
Long press it until the desired mode is achieved (look at the display screen). The four electrodes hence the two channels are needed for effective treatment.
- Also, for IFC treatment, remember that the lead wires need to be crossed.
- For TENS treatment, press the TENS button.
Long press it until the desired mode is achieved. You can choose one channel hence a pair of electrodes or two pairs is needed.
- For NMES treatment, press the NMES button.
Long press it until the desired mode is achieved.
- The channel button is used to increase or decrease the intensity of treatment.
- The lock button is used to ensure that there is no interruption in the course of treatment.
- The treatment timer is used to set the duration of treatment.
For further enquiries and instructions refer to the manual of the device and the advice of the doctor that prescribed it.
I will give this device a 4.0 star our of 5.0
Remember the story of David narrated at the beginning of this article? His doctor luckily prescribed the Zynex NexWave, which worked alongside his physical therapy to rebuild his muscles and manage pain.
This device is found to be better than opioids or any other pain relief drugs. It lasts long and has no (or less) side effects.