The Science Behind The ReBuilder® | ReBuilder Medical

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The Science Behind The ReBuilder®


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There are many different reasons your nerves can become damaged, however the outcome is the same: impaired motor function, numbness, tingling, and pain.  When nerves are functioning properly, they send signals from the peripheries (hands, feet, etc) to the brain, giving it information about the world you and your body’s condition.  These signals come in the form of electrical impulses that, in a healthy nerve, are naturally sloping.

However, in a damaged nerve, these electrical signals become muddled and lose their shape.  These malformed signals send the brain a muddled message, which the brain usually interprets as some form of pain.  To get these electrical signals back into a natural shape, outside intervention is necessary.  That’s where the ReBuilder® comes in.

How the ReBuilder® Works

The ReBuilder® is a highly specialized TENS unit with a built-in microprocessor that automatically adjusts to your individual needs.  The ReBuilder® is able to send a signal to your nerves, then read how they transmit that signal and adjust accordingly.  The ultimate goal is to teach your nerves to begin sending those natural, sloping signals again on their own.  But since everyone’s nerves behave differently, everyone’s ReBuilder® signal will look different: it’s entirely personalized to you and your nerves.

ReBuilder compensating signal overlaying abnormal nerve signal, creating a balanced and natural nerve signal

Additionally, the ReBuilder® sends out an electrical signal 7.83 times per second, a frequency known to encourage to brain to produce pain-relieving and mood-enhancing chemicals (endorphins).  But that’s not the frequency’s only function.  It’s a fairly low frequency compared to most TENS devices, but it allows the nerves time to rest and recuperate between impulses (essential for healing, but a luxury not afforded by other TENS units).  Because it’s not just about the stimulating the nerves, it’s about how the stimulation is provided.

Made with Family in Mind

Dr. Phillips created the ReBuilder® to treat his father’s neuropathy.  He needed a TENS device that measured his father's actual nerve function and delivered a compensating signal that adapted to his particular condition at that time, even able to adapt during his 30-minute treatment.  It was out of these needs that the ReBuilder® was born.  The ReBuilder® was built solve problems and we’re still dedicated to doing that today.

ReBuilder's Compensating Waveform taken with an Oscilliscope

How a Regular TENS Works

By this point, you’re probably wondering what the other side of the coin looks like.  How does a regular TENS unit work?  Though revolutionary at the time, TENS units have undergone very little innovation in the 50 years since their invention.  This lack of innovation has left their systems rather rudimentary with none of the responsive technologies available to us today.

TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation.  Essentially, it is an electric signal applied to the nerves through skin contact.  This signal is a square wave signal, which is common in electronics, but foreign to the human body.  The limited processing power of the typical TENS allows for two intensities during your treatment session: on and off.  This causes an instantaneous spike of electrical output with no build up or gradual drop off.  Though you can adjust the intensity of the impulses, that’s as personalized as the treatment gets.

square wave

Most people don’t care because they still find relief when using a TENS device, but as we said before: it’s not just about the stimulating the nerves, it’s about how the stimulation is provided.  The mechanical pulses of the TENS units overload your nerves and shut them off.  Additionally, these harsh pulses are delivered 90-100 times per second, giving the nerves no time to rest between pulses, contributing to the overload.  While this can provide relief in the moment, disrupting the normal functioning of your nerves only exacerbates the problem and causes more damage in the long run.  Unfortunately, repeated use of a standard TENS unit can cause permanent nerve damage.

Overall, the TENS unit is an outdated design meant as a one-size-fits-all treatment.  And as we know, if a device is one-size-fits-all, then it fits no one.

General Warnings

If you have a pacemaker or any other electronic medical device within your body, make sure you talk with your doctor and medical device manufacturer before using the ReBuilder® or any regular TENS unit.  The electrical impulses can disrupt the function of your medical device and cause life-threatening complications.  The doctor and device manufacturer will be able to create a treatment and ReBuilder® electrode placement plan designed to fit your needs.

ReBuilder 300 with Carrying Case

Try it Yourself

If you would like to learn more about how you can manage your neuropathy symptoms and begin to repair damaged nerves, please feel free to call us directly at 877.717.5487.  If you’d like to try the ReBuilder® for yourself, check out our Find A Doctor page to find a participating physician near you or check out our online store if you’re ready to order your own!

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