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Thread: E-Stim devices?

  1. #1

    Question E-Stim devices?

    I am looking to get one of those large smart phone sized E-Stim devices that runs on like four AA's or whatever.

    I was at a great rehab hospital (Spaulding in Boston) for about three months, getting an hour and 1/2 of physical therapy every day along with an hour and 1/2 of occupational therapy every day. They had a huge gym with all sorts of equipment, Eriigo, ReWalk, LocoMat, FESBike, etc. My physical therapist there told me that of course any other rehab facility or step down facility or skilled nursing facility that I might transition to after discharge from the hospital would of course at least have these handheld Estim machines as well.

    Now I am at a state hospital mostly for the mentally disabled, the only place (1/50) I applied to that would take me with my level of injury, and of course they do have an OT& PT here, but all I get here is 10 min of leg stretching and Range of Motion each day, no gym, no equipment, no estim.

    I am Looking into buying one of these devices, however I'm not quite sure where to start. I asked my old physical therapist from Spalding and she told me it would be impossible for general member of the public to buy one. She told me that the only way a patient could get one for themselves would be to get a prescription from a doctor for one. This would not be too hard for me to get, given my level of injury, however I want to try to get one as soon as possible since I am merely languishing here in this hospital with no physical therapy and no power wheelchair and no staff that knows how to treat spinal cord injury.

    in my experience you can always buy anything that you are looking for on the Internet, however when I look to try to find devices, all I can find are electric stimulation devices that you put on your Dick..... not exactly what I am looking for at the moment.

    does anyone know where to look for these devices? What companies or brands or models should I be looking for?

  2. #2
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Vancouver WA USA - - Male T4 ASIA B incomplete
    Empi used to make the kind of device you probably want. (EMPI 300PV NMES System Muscle Stimulator)
    you may be able find a used one... and no prescription necessary.

    Not sure which companies would compete with this, but you would have had to get a prescription to get a new unit.

  3. #3
    Both Compex (rechargeable proprietary battery pack, proprietary snap electrodes, many preset programs varying by model) and Intelect (pin electrodes, standard batteries, can also be used as a TENS) units are made by DonJoy - the same parent company that owned and shut down Empi (very sketchy revenue model) - and can be purchased new online without a prescription either directly from compex or from amazon or from medical supply companies. The difficulty is knowing what settings will work for you - for that you need a PT or the willingness to be your own lab rat. The tricky bit of buying used Empis is that there’s nowhere to get them refurbished any more and they use/used proprietary cables, which now cost about $40/pair to replace. There used to be a spreadsheet on the DonJoy website telling which model of intelect and/or compex best replaces which model of empi. The price variables are substantial- the compex units range from ~$700-$300, and the intelect units from about $70-$120. Pricing of electrodes, cables, batteries can add up pretty quickly.

    There are are other professional/institutional use brands which don’t use batteries and plug directly into the wall. IME, many PT practices will help you find refurbished models (which cost about 60-75% of new), and if you’re in a SNF or similar, the PTs may be willing to undertake getting you any necessary Rx and/or LMN.

  4. #4
    Senior Member air ohs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Are you looking for E.M.S device electro muscle stimulation. or T.E.N.S device Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation .

  5. #5
    Member Peders's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Blog Entries
    I use wearable therapy from a company called Axiobionics. It is more expensive, but much better than the ordinary stick-on electrodes. It's not even close!

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    An island in the middle of the Pacific
    My wife is a T9 incomplete (acute care at Spaulding last spring). We have two of the units you describe. Getting a script was as easy as asking for it. They cost less than $100 each.

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