How is the AcuKnee different than traditional TENS?
- The AcuKnee System is different from TENS for many reasons. Our AcuKnee Electrotherapy technology is completely reconfigured with a proprietary sequence and frequency. In addition, our device comes with the only over the counter (OTC) HAN frequency mode. There is a high cost associated with meeting FDA OTC requirements and manufacturing to non-standard specifications. Our device is the only one of its kind approved by the FDA for sale OTC without a prescription.
- TENS devices typically only provide brief pain relief, and our proprietary AcuKnee program provides pain relief that last 24 to 72 hours. Our System has been shown to suppress IL-1 and provide durable pain relief. We guarantee a minimum 50% reduction in the KOOS score and a high percentage of our patients are completely pain free. In addition, our system is a full functioning NMES device for enhancement of muscle strength and decreased post-exercise soreness. No other device approaches our durable KOOS score improvement.
- The FDA requires a prescription to purchase an actual TENS device. If you see an actual TENS device for sale OTC, it is illegal in the U.S. Most devices you see are muscle stimulation devices only, not TENS. We’ve spent the past several years studying the acupuncture points and the most effective electrode placement for treating knee and back conditions. Our treatment protocol was completely developed by a certified anesthesiologist who understands the nerves and pain points in the body for the most effective treatment, and comes with a patent pending innovative wrap that makes treating at precise points much easier. It is precision neuro-modulation. Our wrap comes with predefined electrode placement locations and doesn’t require any work to treat the precise locations. Our unit, using a highly conductive gel, gives uniform delivery across the entire electrode, which require infrequent replacing which reduces overall costs.
How soon will I see benefits from the AcuKnee System wellness program?
Using the AcuKnee Knee Osteoarthritis Treatment System, most people see significant improvement within the first week. Thereafter, the effects are cumulative and you will continue to improve for up to twelve weeks. A large percentage (depending on the severity of your condition) are pain free in less than a week. The pain relief typically lasts about 24 hours. We urge you to continue to treat for at least an additional week after the durable resolution of your pain. Clients with osteoarthritis are stable in about a week but will need to treat indefinitely. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but the AcuKnee will eliminate or greatly reduce the need for pain medications and may slow the progression of the disease. The AcuKnee is unlikely to help an acutely torn meniscus.
Will Medicare help with the cost of the AcuKnee?
- In order to be eligible for Medicare coverage for your device, several requirements would have to be met. Medicare does not pay for stimulation of a joint for osteoarthritis but they do pay for pain associated with chronic tendon injuries and chondromalacia of the patella. However, you would need your local physical therapist or physician to prescribe it on a “trial” basis for 30 to 60 days and document your response to the treatment.
- Following a positive trial and review, Medicare authorizes the purchase and provide up to 80 percent of payment for the device. This requires you to find a local therapist to evaluate, monitor and submit documentation to Medicare for you. Currently, we support these efforts in Utah only. It is cumbersome, requires multiple office visits and you will incur substantial “co-pays” that will dramatically raise your overall costs. If it is purchased over the counter no office visits are necessary and the device may be returned if it fails to provide relief. Unfortunately,Medicare has been slowly withdrawing coverage for electro-therapy. In March of 2013, Medicare decided to withdraw all coverage for electro-therapy of the lower back. Furthermore, our patients tell us, even if a device is covered by insurance it does not mean it is free or inexpensive. Soon, Medicare may decide to withdraw coverage for any knee therapy as well. We have priced the Acuknee System to minimize costs, eliminate office visits and allow you to treat at home every day. The Acuknee system (as a class 2 medical device), regardless of insurance coverage, is a fully deductible medical cost under all FLEX and HSA Plans.
Why does this work for osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis, at its earliest stage and before you have even minimal pain, is characterized by inflammation. This inflammation is chronic and ongoing. The AcuKnee system, in addition to minimizing pain, reduces inflammation in the joint. By reducing inflammation, you reduce pain and may reduce the risk of continuing joint damage.
Why do I need to change the polarity when I switch to the opposite knee?
The AcuKnee is a meridian based precision electrotherapy system. Accordingly, the direction of current flow is very important. You will benefit from the treatment without changing the polarity but we have found greater efficacy with strict attention to polarity.
I suffered a sports related overuse injury. Do I need to stop exercising while treating with AcuKnee?
Probably not. Some prefer to rest and treat with the AcuKnee for several days. Most people can resume light exercise in a gradual fashion as your symptoms improve. Do not ice the knee at any time if you are using the AcuKnee system.
I have a torn meniscus. Can I treat with with the AcuKnee?
No, we do not recommend it. The ongoing irritation of the meniscus or meniscal fragment within the joint greatly diminishes the effect and there will be no lasting resolution. In addition, there is a risk of the treatment itself further irritating the knee.
Why is it important to not ice while using the AcuKnee?
Ice is a great anti-inflammatory for acute injury. However, it has became clear to us that icing (especially before or after a treatment) diminishes or abolishes the positive effects of the AcuKnee treatment.
What is the COM program?
The COM program is a combined frequency program designed to deliver a precise set of sequenced frequencies over a specified period of a time. It is designed for the AcuKnee treatment and combines ultra high and low frequencies. It takes thirty minutes and should, in general, be used only once a day.
What is the HAN program?
The HAN program delivers short alternating bursts of staggered frequencies. It is designed as a “rescue” program in case the COM program provides inadequate relief or does not provide relief. If you fail to have adequate pain relief with the COM program, you should try the HAN program for at least one week. When combined with program 13 (our gentlest neuromuscular stimulation program), it is the standard program for the AcuBack. The AcuBack treats for 15 minutes on program 13, followed by 30 minutes with the HAN program.
What makes the AcuKnee different from other electrotherapy treatments? Why do you only treat for thirty minutes daily?
Most other electrotherapy systems operate on the principle that more is better. We fundamentally disagree with this approach. We recommend you treat once a day for thirty minutes. Treating more often diminishes the effect over time, creating the risk of the body developing tolerance to the treatment and blunting the body’s release of pain relieving compounds. We are developing a nighttime treatment (AcuKnee Nightfall) that will deliver very small amounts of energy over a long period of time (8 hours) but the total applied ‘dose’ is extraordinarily low. In addition, for the convenience of the customer, AcuKnee is available without a prescription.
I am extremely tall. Do I need change the the position of the electrodes?
Yes, slightly. The AcuKnee is designed to fit the average person from 5’6″ to 6’2″. The Velcro receiver patches are in the standard position. If you are very tall or very short you should move each pad vertically (.25 to .5 inch) away (if tall) or toward (if short) the knee cap hole. If you have a very large diameter leg you should move the electrodes slightly laterally (.25 to .5 inch).
I am very over weight. BMI over 50. Can I use the AcuKnee?
We do not recommend the AcuKnee for clients with a BMI over 40, with the exception of athletes with high muscle mass. If your BMI is over 40 you may experience decreased effectiveness, however, the wrap will fit an extraordinary range of individuals–up to a thigh circumference of 28 to 30 inches. We have had patients up to a BMI of 57 have surprisingly good results. We are happy to make a custom wrap for you up to 38 inches. It is not returnable and may take up to 10 days. The wrap itself is $129 and does not come with the AcuKnee graphics, lead wires, electrodes or instructional placard screened on the top inside. In addition, the wrap is made of a thicker, heavy duty neoprene. If interested, please contact us at info@AcuKnee.com.
How often do I need to change the electrodes?
With daily use and meticulous care, you should change them once a month. Paying careful attention to replacing the plastic electrode covers in the correct orientation as written on the plastic will further extend the electrode life.
I accidentally turned off the unit in the middle of treatment with the COM program. What should I do?
If you were half way or more through the program, go to PRG 03 and treat for 15 minutes. If you are less than halfway into the program, simply start over with the COM program and allow it to run for the full 30 minutes.
I take narcotics for my knee pain. Will the AcuKnee work for me?
People using narcotics, as well as people who drink excessively, may have a diminished response. Customers who respond favorably to the AcuKnee treatment may find that they can reduce or stop their pain medications. You should never change your dose or stop your narcotic medication without consulting your physician. Almost all of our customers stop or dramatically reduce their use of ibuprofen, naproxen or celecoxib because of the pain reduction they experience using the AcuKnee.
Why do you charge a 15% return fee on the AcuKnee system?
Once returned, we can not resell the system. The electrotherapy unit itself may become part of a trial or demonstration unit, but we cannot reuse the wrap. Many manufacturers of medical equipment do not allow returns of any kind. We are implementing a 21 day trial program for a flat, one time fee of $99 and we pay the return shipping costs.
How are you able to sell the AcuKnee™ without a doctor’s prescription?
The PainWarrior® electrotherapy unit consists of only 14 programs. A 510K has been filed and cleared by the FDA to allow the sale of the PainWarrior without a prescription. This is made possible by extensive testing and the sophisticated safety features built into the PainWarrior®. These features include the automatic shut off if loss of skin contact is sensed, and a lock out feature which prevents accidental or unintended increases in the electrotherapy output. The AcuKnee is a dedicated positioning device that minimizes any undesirable side effects. The AcuKnee has also been approved by Medicare for prescription (if all requirements are met) and non-prescription use, as well as HSA and FLEX health benefit plans.