Elite Sport Recovery

Firefly Recovery - Clinical Study

01 November 2017

Study: The effect of calf neuromuscular electrical stimulation and intermittent pneumatic compression on thigh microcirculation.



In a clinical study published by the European Journal of Applied Physiology, it was found that the technology behind Firefly helped athletes to feel better recovered and more willing and able to better perform subsequent training sessions.

The Firefly device is known as a neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) device. It is a small, self-adhesive, disposable device, which is battery-powered and applied posterior to the fibula head over the common peroneal nerve. Research proves that NMES devices and intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) are effective in improving blood flow. They are often used post-surgery to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and in procedures found to reduce oedema in the thigh of hip replacement patients post-surgery. The study was conducted to determine which is more effective for improving blood flow; NMES or IPC devices.

10 participants were chosen for the study. All participants were male, aged between 25 and 46 years, and their BMI ranged from 23 to 30 kg/m. All participants were asked to complete a pre-test health questionnaire to ensure they met the inclusion criteria, and were requested to not smoke or consume any caffeine 2 hours prior to testing.

The findings of the study suggest that the NMES device is superior to the IPC device in increasing the blood microcirculation in the thigh. The NMES with visible muscle actuation increased the blood microcirculation by 399.8% from baseline flux perfusion which is a substantial increase when compared to the IPC device with 117.3% from baseline flux perfusion.

In comparison to the IPC device, the NMES device significantly increases cutaneous blood flow in the thigh with healthy individuals. This study suggests that NMES may be a more efficient solution to reduce oedema, improve healing and the prevention of wound complications in comparison to the IPC device in clinical populations such as total hip replacement patients.

 To view the full study: http://www.recoveryfirefly.com/download/Study-7