Anyone who’s ever wore a cast after breaking an arm or leg knows that muscles not used for a month or so become rather pathetic looking, and lack much of their original strength. An Israeli company called StimuHeal Inc. is working on embedding electrical stimulators inside casts to exercise the immobile muscles.
Now available in Europe and Israel, MyoSpare takes advantage of the downtime period when the adult or senior body is inactive and healing from an injury.
Using existing equipment on the market, StimuHeal identified the technical and clinical limitations of activating the muscles underneath casts using Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES), a well-recognized tool in the American healthcare system.
If electrodes were to be inserted under the cast, the company recognized, prolonged sweating would be a problem. They also had to develop the perfect stimulation regime so the lactic acid and CO2 wouldn’t build up in the muscles, causing pain and discomfort. StimuHeal solved this by developing a microprocessor that calculates a cycle for the muscles to rest.
Not only will the MyoSpare device cut down on physiotherapy costs, it will radically help people return to their former selves after a serious debilitating injury. Other devices exist on the market to aid in muscle stimulation, but the MyoSpare is the only one developed for use under a cast when the body is healing, the company says.
To stay competitive, StimuHeal hopes to be able to sell MyoSpare in the United States for about $300, once it gets the FDA seal of approval. This should happen sometime in the next year.