How To Use The Kneehab XP
If you're curious as to how your kneehab xp unit works, and are finding yourself asking questions like, "How Often Should I use my Kneehab XP?", then this article is for you.
Neurotech's Kneehab is fairly straightforward to use. The short version goes something like this: Fit the garment to your leg, apply the electrodes at one of two points (depending on your measurements), wrap the device onto the leg, and turn the kneehab on to whatever setting(s) are desired/prescribed. We realize that it actually gets more complex than that, and have written a guide to help you get your kneehab working.
NOTE: The Manufacturer's guide is located here and should help you with some visuals on how things fit together. Be sure to check it out after reading our walk through if you still have questions!
Neurotech has specially designed this unit to fit over certain muscles in the leg, so it's very important to be sure that you are fitting it correctly. The kneehab xp comes in two different options - you can buy the left garment or the right garment. If you buy the left garment, then it's only going to work with your left leg, because the device was designed specifically for that leg. The same goes for the right garment. Each garment has two places to put the electrodes - capital 'A' and capital 'B', or lowercase 'a' and lowercase 'b'. Again, placement of the electrodes is highly important, so please take care to follow the fitting instructions below as closely as possible.
If you hold the garment in your hands, you can see that there are a few markers to help with placement. Find a comfortable place to sit (the floor works great!) and extend your leg so that it's as straight as you can possibly make it. Place the kneehab xp on your thigh, keeping the white line on the unit centered with where your femur would be. Line the front of the pad up with your kneecap - the light blue trim needs be 1/4 of an inch above the very top of it. See the image below for what this looks like.
If the garment has to fold near the top of your thigh to make 1/4" of space between the patella and the unit (like in the image below), then you will be attaching the electrodes to point "a" (lowercase a). If the kneehab xp lays perfectly flat, then you can go ahead and attach the electrode to point "A" (capital A). Don't do this yet, however, as you still need to take the measurement for width. Write down your length measurements somewhere, then keep reading.
The kneehab unit has convenient white markings that help you determine the necessary width required. Simply fasten the kneehab to your leg, and look where the straps are. If the strap overlaps the white line, you will be using 'B' (capital B) and if not, then you will be using 'b' (lowercase b).
For this part, you will need to take the kneehab off and lay it on a flat surface with the letters and white areas facing up so that you can apply the electrodes. This part is easy, all you have to do is remove the plastic liner from the side of the pad that has a grid on it, and carefully line it up with whatever points you found in the steps above. Once all the pads are on the garment, you can remove the plastic liners. Hang on to these as you can place them back on the electrodes later for easy storage. Below you can see the whole process, from fitting the electrodes all the way to removing the plastic backs.
From this point, your kneehab is ready to use, just clean the knee so that you can get better conduction through the skin, place it back on the knee (remember, 1/4" above the knee!) and you're good to go.
With the kneehab attached to your knee, you are ready to begin therapy. Once you connect the controller cable (this will come with the device if you buy a kneehab from shop-orthopedics) and turn the device on, you should feel it working on your leg. Be sure that the controller is set on a low level before use by pressing the down arrow a few times, this way you can ramp up the therapy without any discomfort. Keep in mind that your quadriceps should be contracting while you're using the device. For best results, you want them to contract as much as they can (without hurting you of course).
Keep in mind as well that the kneehab controller unit allows you to adjust both sides of the quadriceps indepentendly - if you wanted to work the inside of the quads, you would adjust the arrow on the left. If you want to work the outside, then you would use the arrow on the right. It's important to play with the settings so that you can find the right ones that work for your condition while remaining comfortable.
The Kneehab XP comes with 9 different presets, as you can see below. Depending on whether you have pain or are using the unit for recovery from an injury, your settings will need to be different. You will have to play with the device a bit to find a setting that is comfortable for you and still fully contracts the quad muscles.
In addition to passively using the kneehab for pain and rehabilitation, you can combine exercises with the device to fully work the muscles around the knee. Talk to your physician first to make sure your knees are strong enough for this sort of exercise, then check out the videos below to increase the intensity of your kneehab regimen.
Neurotech has created a whole bunch of different videos on how to exercise with the kneehab, check out their youtube channel for more videos like these
The kneehab presets run for 20 minutes, and generally there are between 1 and 3 sessions per day. Any more than 20 minutes at a time might be too much for your body depending on where you're at in the strengthening process, so talk to a doctor before going longer than that. It's probably a good idea to slowly ramp up from one 20 minute session a day to about 3 over the course of a couple of weeks, but your doctor will ultimately be the best source of information for how long you should use it. You really should consult with your doctor before embarking on a rehabilitation path with the kneehab to avoid any types of injury. Even though the kneehab xp is very safe overall, keep in mind that you are using it at your own risk.