The BioWave Difference
There are many differences between BioWave’s neurostimulators and TENS, IFC and NMES devices. BioWave “blue boxes” utilize a proprietary signal mixing technology that delivers two continuously summed, high-frequency alternating current signals through skin into deep tissue where the body creates a new set of signals, one of which is in the form of a low-frequency electrical field. This field is optimized for blocking pain and providing functional improvement including a greater range of motion and a reduction in stiffness and muscle spasm for up to 72 hours with percutaneous electrodes and for up to 24 hours with noninvasive electrodes following a 30-minute treatment. In addition to providing long-lasting efficacy, these signals are significantly more comfortable leading to improved patient treatment compliance.
BioWave High-Frequency Signal Technology
BioWave is a frequency conduction pain block. BioWave’s signal technology is based on the discovery that when two sinusoidal high-frequency signals are summed (added) together in the device and then delivered into the body through a single electrode, the signals will pass into deep tissue and affect all polarized tissues including nociceptive pain fibers. As the summed signals pass through the body, polarized structures like the membrane of the C-fiber, A-delta fiber and muscle tissue act in a non-linear fashion and force the further multiplication of these signals, resulting in a new spectrum of signals. Multiplication of the high-frequency signals results in the formation of an active therapeutic low frequency electrical field focused in approximately a 3.5-inch diameter hemisphere beneath and surrounding each electrode, not across the surface of the skin between the electrodes. This active electrical field is thought to hyperpolarize C-fibers inhibiting action potential propagation along these pain fibers (Frequency Conduction Block Theory). The active electrical field also induces hypoesthesia 5 minutes into the treatment and causes an increase in blood flow in the volume of tissue beneath and surrounding each electrode. Hypoesthesia remains at the treatment site for up to 20 minutes following a 30-minute treatment. Additionally, muscle tissue is held in tension during the treatment, so the treatment feels like a deep smooth pressure sensation.
Active Feedback Control
Both BioWavePRO and BioWaveHOME utilize the company’s patented signal technology which includes active monitoring and control of the electrical signals to ensure the accurate and safe delivery of therapeutic energy into deep tissue. BioWave neurostimulators calculate current density at the surface of each electrode in real time and automatically prevent patients from receiving too much current which could lead to a burn.
How do BioWave Neurostimulators Work?
BioWavePRO and BioWaveHOME neurostimulators deliver the two, summed high-frequency signals to the first electrode; they mix in the volume of tissue beneath that electrode, then pass to the second electrode and return to the device, completing the circuit. Instantaneously, the summed signals are delivered to the second electrode; they mix in the tissue beneath that electrode, then pass to the first electrode and return to the device.
The device alternates the summed high-frequency signals so quickly between the two electrodes that the patient cannot distinguish that the signals left either location. The net effect is there are two active electrodes, each of which can treat a distinct volume of tissue simultaneously and there is no noxious twitching sensation.
TENS vs BioWave
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
TENS devices deliver pulsed low-frequency signals across the surface of skin typically between two surface electrodes placed on either side of the painful area. The result is a surface effect based on Gate Control Theory and the patient feels a noxious twitching, electrical sensation between the electrodes. The sensation produced by TENS may act as a distraction from the pain while the device is on, however, there is little residual benefit or functional improvement once the therapy session is over.
Subcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
Low frequency signals (1-180Hz in frequency) are required to inhibit transmission of pain signals along nerve fibers in the body. However, electrical signals in this frequency range cannot pass through the skin because of the skin’s impedance and capacitance. High-frequency signals (greater than 1000Hz in frequency) easily pass through the skin. Trouble is, these signals used individually do not elicit an electrical or mechanical response from either nerve fibers or muscle tissue to inhibit pain transmission.
Interferential Current (IFC)
IFC devices use four surface electrodes (two pairs of electrodes) that are placed in an “X” pattern surrounding a painful area. IFC delivers two separate pulsed, high-frequency signals, one between each pair of electrodes. The two pulsed signals cross paths on the surface of the skin. At the point of intersection, an interference pattern develops resulting in a new low-frequency signal equal to the difference between the signals. This is called the beat frequency. Since the two signals intersect on the surface, the resulting beat frequency produces mostly a surface effect similar to TENS and based on Gate Control Theory.
Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES)
NMES devices use up to eight electrodes typically placed at proximal and distal ends of a muscle to cause repeated cyclic contractions to increase blood flow and reduce atrophy. NMES devices are not indicated for pain relief.
With the BioWavePRO Stimulator, depending on the nature and location of the painful area, the electrical signals can be focused to different parts of the body by pairing electrodes of different sizes and types with one another. If two same type electrodes of equal area are used, then two distinct volumes of tissue of similar pain magnitude can be treated simultaneously. For example, if a patient has bilateral low back pain, two equal area electrodes can be placed over the respective painful areas on each side of the spine. Two equal area electrodes can also be used to treat one larger volume of tissue by placing these electrodes closer together so that there is only 1.0 inch of space between them.
BioWave Percutaneous Electrodes
With BioWave Percutaneous Electrodes, the electrical signals can be focused by not only pairing different area electrodes with each other but also by combining percutaneous with noninvasive electrodes. Since the summed high-frequency signals pass through the skin more easily when using the percutaneous electrode, the impedance is lower in this area than at the opposing surface electrode. By having an impedance difference between the electrodes, the therapeutic low frequency field is more concentrated where the impedance is lower. Therefore, the electrical field in the volume of tissue under the percutaneous electrode, which is placed directly over the painful area, allows the nerve fibers and muscle tissue to be more readily encompassed by the therapeutic low frequency electric field.
BioWave Noninvasive Electrodes
With BioWave No-Invasive Electrodes, by pairing an electrode of smaller area with an electrode of larger area, the density of the therapeutic low frequency field is greater in the volume of tissue beneath the smaller area electrode. Therefore, the smaller electrode needs to be placed directly over the primary painful area. The larger electrode is still active (it is not a grounding pad) and may be placed over a secondary location of pain. If there is no secondary location of pain, then the larger electrode must be placed over a bony prominence near the treatment site, which is a comfortable location to receive stimulation. Placement of the larger electrode over a bony prominence allows the patient to more comfortably increase the intensity of the signal to higher levels allowing a stronger electric field to encompass the pain site under the smaller primary electrode.
"I am beyond satisfied with my BioWave unit and it really has become an integral part of my practice … my “go-to unit” if you will … particularly since I’m a Manual Orthopedic Physical Therapist and modalities are an adjunctive way for me to initiate and complete treatment. Thank you and congratulations!!! I see a VERY BRIGHT FUTURE for BioWave!"
"I wanted to let you know about my experience with Biowave. I have been struggling with severe back and neck pain for over 30 years. I was beginning to think nothing would ever help. I had tried everything except major surgery. I was ecstatic when I tried the Biowave device that the V.A. hospital had and it relieved my muscle and nerve pain for hours. This device allowed me to get sleep, and even to start going out in public. The company is super responsive to questions and very professional. I love this device! One great company!"
"I’m Nathan Stupar and am currently a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints. I recently tore my ACL on punt coverage during our game against the Detroit Lions our fourth game into the regular season. I want to tell you about my journey ahead of me. Tearing your ACL means recovery takes about six to nine months to return to the football field. This is a difficult thing to process because I’m used to injuries taking a couple weeks to come back from. Recently in preseason this year I tweaked my hamstring against the Texans. Hamstrings are no laughing matter because they are very tricky. If it isn’t right and you come back too soon, you can easily tweak it again and be out another couple of weeks. But during my recovery I used BioWavePRO nonstop. It blocked the pain, allowed me to complete my rehab more easily and helped me get back onto the field quicker. I began to play my best football on special teams until I ended up tearing my ACL. The BioWavePRO gave me a quicker healing timeline and took away the pains that can come with a tweaked hammy. I would definitely suggest using BioWavePRO for future injuries like I am now with my ACL. I am currently rehabbing from my surgery and things are going great. Yes it will take time to get back to grinding on the field with my brothers, but I know I’ll be back quicker with the help of my BioWavePRO by my side! I highly recommend it to those who are looking for an edge on recovery and pain relief. It really does wonders. Thank you BioWave for keeping me right and to bringing me back as soon as possible so I can be back to playing on Sundays!"
New Orleans Saints Linebacker #54