Electrical Stimulation Home Instructions

You may be given an electrical stimulation unit to use at home following your surgery or injury. If so, it is important to use the unit as instructed for 1 to 2 hours per day in order to stimulate muscle activity and regain strength. The physical therapist will program the “On”/”Off” times for your machine.

Safety:

Discontinue use if you experience:

  • Increase in pain
  • Blistering under the pads

Tell your physical therapist and do not use electrical stimulation if you have any of the following:

  • Pacemaker
  • Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD)
  • Infection
  • Sensory loss

General Instructions:

  • Clean the areas where you will be placing the electrode pads
  • Place the electrode pads on your muscles, using the appropriate placement as described on the next page
    • If the pads will not stick to the skin, it may be necessary to shave the hair and/or use a new set of pads
  • Connect the leads of the electrical stimulator unit to the electrode pads
    • Make sure the Channel 1 and/or Channel 2 leads are appropriately connected
  • Turn on the electrical stimulator unit
  • Slowly increase the intensity until a “twitch” contraction is felt in the muscle
  • During the stimulator’s “On” cycle, actively contract the muscles by attempting to straighten your knee
  • During the stimulator’s “Off” cycle, relax your leg
  • Repeat this sequence for at 1 to 2 hours per day, as tolerated

Pad Placement (One-Channel Setup):

  1. Approximately 2 to 3 inches above the knee, over the bulk of muscle toward the inside of the thigh
  2. Approximately 6 to 8 inches above the first pad, between the midline and outside of the thigh

Pad Placement (Two-Channel Setup):

  • Channel 1:
    • Approximately 2 to 3 inches above the knee, over the bulk of muscle toward the inside of the thigh
    • Approximately 4 to 6 inches directly above the first pad
  • Channel 2:
    • Approximately 6 to 7 inches above the knee, over the bulk of muscle toward the outside of the thigh (roughly the height of the top pad of Channel 1)
    • Approximately 4 to 6 inches directly above the first pad

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