Comparison with

other devices

How does Scenar differ from other electro-therapy devices?

The Scenar is effectively a number of electrotherapy tecnhnologies in one handheld device, working simultaneously and complementing each other. East European studies have objectively compared Scenar to other electrotherapy methods, including TENS, MT, DDC, and several others. What makes the Scenar treatment signal stand out is the impulse shape that is close to the biological signals of the human nervous system. It is a bipolar, two-phase signal with damping oscillations that change dynamically during the treatment process or where the electrode is applied on the body.

Scenar vs TENS

Like the TENS machine, Scenar is a bio-electrical pain treatment device which transmits signals into the site of a pain or injury.  When passed over a painful area, both send out an impulse that is received by the nervous system, and processed by the brain.  This stimulates the body’s own repair systems to act, inducing the release of natural painkillers called endorphins.

However, in a TENS device, the signal is repetitive, and the body tends to become desensitised to that particular electrical impulse and eventually ignore it, resulting in the return of the pain.  Scenar incorporates a biofeedback mechanism which sets up a two-way communication with the patient’s nervous system.  The device reads the returning signal and adjusts its own subsequent impulse parameters so that each new signal differs from the previous one. This constant change of frequency encourages the body to go on redirecting its activity towards the area of weakness in the body.

Another major distinguishing features of Scenar therapy is that it influences local blood flow, especially micro-circulation, which is important in the treatment of sports injuries.  Blood delivers the basic building blocks to repair cells and removes dead tissue and waste products from the affected site.  The result is that pain relief may be permanent, or at least extend for increasingly longer periods between with each treatment.

Scenar therapy is also more effective than TENS at inducing neuropeptide release by the body, which promotes pain reduction and repair for a wide array of complaints and conditions.

SCENAR v TENS: CLINICAL TRIAL

Chronic neck pain is difficult to diagnose and treat, being resistant to common therapeutic interventions.  Therefore, a study was carried out in Australia in 2006-7 to see if there were significant differences in performance between SCENAR and TENS.

A group of 24 people between the ages of 18 and 50 suffering from non-complicated chronic neck pain (NCCNP) were split into three groups; one group received SCENAR treatment, another was treated with a TENS device and the third group received a control procedure.

All groups were given twelve 15-minute treatment sessions over a six week period.  Results were measured throughout the treatment period, at the 0, 6, 12, 18 and 24 week points, using acknowledged pain and functionality assessment scales.

The SCENAR group showed a marked decrease in mean pain scores from time zero to the first follow-up measurement, six weeks into the trial and this improvement was maintained until week 24.  However, the TENS and control groups showed similar and consistent pain levels throughout the trial.

A follow-up assessment after six months also showed that pain and neck disability levels within the SCENAR group were around half that of either the TENS or the control.

Scenar vs Interferential Therapy

The basic principle of Interferential Therapy (IFT) is to utilise the significant physiological effects of low-frequency electrical stimulation of nerves without the associated painful and somewhat unpleasant side effects sometimes linked to low-frequency stimulation.

The devices often weigh more than 1 kg and the ability for the practitioner to set all parameters is rather limited.

IFT uses a frequency of 1 – 150 Hz and is said to be good for pain relief, muscle stimulation, blood flow, and oedema.

Stimulation can be applied using pad electrodes and sponge covers, which when wet provide a reasonable conductive path, though electro-conductive gel is an effective alternative.

Whichever electrode system is employed, electrode positioning should ensure adequate coverage of the area for stimulation. Using larger electrodes will minimize patient discomfort, whilst small, closely spaced electrodes increase the risk of superficial tissue irritation and possible damage and skin burn.

Similar to the others, IFT does not communicate and adapt to the body’s signals, and the Scenar device also has a much wider frequency range.

Device
Voltage
Current
Frequency
True Biofeedback
Scenar
1 – 350 V
1 – 140 mA
Inside stimulus: 500 Hz to 500 kHz Pulse repetition rate: 0.6Hz to 500 Hz
Yes
IFT
12 – 20 V
0 – 50 mA
1 – 150 Hz
No

Scenar vs Neuromuscular Electric Stimulation (NMES)

There is an increasing application of longer electrical stimulation to modify or change muscle function. Initially, this work was concentrated around athlete strengthening and function, but in recent years, the intervention has crossed the boundary into clinical practice with an increasing range of applications.

The goal of NMES is to achieve a tetanic contraction or at least a partial tetany of muscle fibres in response to stimulation of motor nerves using surface electrodes.  The primary reason for adopting the NMES terminology is that it is the motor nerve which is stimulated by the device, not the muscle itself.

Many manufacturers of NMES devices claim that their waveform is special and more effective than those provided by others. There is evidence – reviewed in Anthony, 2020, and Bickel et al, 2011 – that the biphasic asymmetric, but balanced waveform, is probably more popular and probably more effective. 

However, in comparison to Scenar, it is again using much lower voltage, current, and frequency or pulse repetition rate. It can only be used with gel patches, which makes it more like a TENS machine.  Within this context, it needs to be said that whereas TENS gets its best results with short duration pulses, when it comes to NMES, longer pulses appear to be more effective.

The latest Scenar pro devices have built-in presets for all kinds of muscle stimulation, ranging from rehabilitation, chronic pain, acute injuries, preparing athletes for pre and post-workout, muscle ache, and many more, working on small and large muscles.

Device

Voltage

Current

Frequency

True Biofeedback

Scenar

1 – 350 V

1 – 140 mA

Inside stimulus: 500 Hz to 500 kHz
Pulse repetition rate: 0.6Hz to 500 Hz

Yes

NMES

2 – 5 V RMS

120 mA max

10 – 50 Hz

No

Scenar vs Micro-Current Therapy

Micro-current therapy works by delivering an electrical current to muscles and skin cells. The idea behind this is that the electrical current will build up muscles in the face, lifting and tightening the skin.

In comparison to Scenar, it operates on lower voltage and lowercurrents.  It has a limited frequency range between 10 to 40 Hz, has no signal variability, and there is likewise no biofeedback between the device and the body. The machine just sends out signals through the handheld electrodes. This means the body will get used to the signal, and the efficacy of the machine will also soon stop.

Watch our entire video on comparing Scenar technology and therapy with other electrotherapy devices currently on the market  by clicking below.

Device

Voltage

Current

Frequency

True Biofeedback

Scenar

1 – 350 V

1 – 140 mA

Inside stimulus: 500 Hz to 500 kHz
Pulse repetition rate: 0.6Hz to 500 Hz

Yes

MT

12 – 36 V

50 – 1000 µA max

10 – 40 Hz

No

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