Lot's of K's usually result in sore legs. The team at Activife has sent us one of their SportsMed TENS Machines to help make the pain go away.
Designed to relieve pain right through to assisting with recovery this is a good tool for those with ongoing musculoskeletal issues through to those looking to recover for another big day on the bike tomorrow.
Words - Mike Boudrie Images - Jarrod McShane
First things first... What is a TENS machine? Basically it's a unit that delivers electrical stimulation to your muscles. The ActivLife TENS provides three levels of stimulation, each for a different purpose including:
- Sensory nerves may be stimulated to relieve pain and foster relaxation and well-being;
- Motor nerves may be stimulated to strengthen muscle fibre, reactivate motor nerve memory and improve circulation;
- Cell membranes may be stimulated to improve circulation, remove waste and promote healing.
The SportsMEd is also manufactured by ActivLife in Melbourne, rather than being produced overseas.
Out of the box the SportsMed is a tiny unit, perfect for travel. It's quick to charge and has good battery life once full.
The electrical stimulation is delivered by a unit that attaches via a lead to two pads that can be placed in multiple locations on your body. The pads are replaceable, however we've been using ours for a couple of months and they are still in great condition.
Once you have charged the control unit it's just a matter of attaching the pads to your legs (or where required) and choosing one of the three settings:
- RELIEVE - for a combination of pain relief, relaxation and easing of muscle tension
- RECOVERY - for mild muscle stimulation, circulation and elimination of waste material
- EXERCISE - for motor nerve stimulation to contract muscle and build strength
We predominately have been using the TENS on 'Relieve' and 'Recovery' settings. The sensation in not uncomfortable, providing a slight tingling feeling. We really liked that you could leave the pads on and unit running under your clothing and overnight while sleeping.
We found that the TENS machine was pretty effective in aiding recovery after big rides when used in conjunction with your other recovery methods, e.g rehydrating etc. We also got good relief from a longstanding neck injury from a big fall.
The SportsMed kit contains everything you need to start a diagnosed injury TENS therapy management program.
- The control unit
- One connecting lead
- 4 pre-gelled pads
- A battery charger
- User guide
At $250 the SportMed machine is a sizable investment, however we think it's a well worth it when compared to the pricing of other recovery aids like compression clothing and also provides non medicated pain relief.
WHERE TO BUY
Check out ActivLife at www.activlifetech.com.au
- Powerful maximum output of 60 volts
- Precise intensity control - 30 settings, in 2 volt increments
- Unit weighs only 25 gm, for versatility and mobility
- Pad size is 50 mm * 90 mm
- Pad life is many months, depending upon skin and weather conditions
- Battery is rechargeable and re-charges in 3 to 4 hours
- Each charge lasts about 20 to 24 hours of application time
- The battery life is 3 or more years
- 24 month warranty on control unit, battery and battery charger