Firefly | Sports Recovery device for DOMS

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Frequently Asked Questions about firefly™

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Questions & Answers

Answers

Q:

What is firefly™?

A:

The firefly™ device is a simple, convenient and time efficient electronic device used to provide athletes with accelerated recovery after intense physical exertion. Powered by OnPulse™ neuromuscular electrostimulation technology, the firefly™ device triggers the body's built-in mechanisms to increase blood circulation to the lower limbs. The self-adhesive device is applied to the common peroneal nerve at the top of the fibula bone.

Q:

What does the firefly™ device do?

A:

The firefly™ device increases blood flow in the muscles of the lower leg. Worn immediately after high exertion exercise, the firefly™ device reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) within 24 hours, accelerating lower limb muscle recovery.

The firefly™ device relieves the discomfort of muscle soreness and helps the muscles to recover more quickly. Increasing the speed of recovery allows users to get back to training faster which can lead to improved performance.

Q:

How does the firefly™ device work?

A:

Portable, with no leads or wires and worn behind the knee, the firefly™ device delivers painless electrical impulses to the common peroneal nerve to activate the muscle pumps of the lower leg that return blood towards the heart. Clinically proven, the firefly™ device, powered by OnPulse™ technology, is designed to increase blood circulation, to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) within 24 hours. The firefly™ device can also be used to aid recovery from sprains and strains and reduce swelling after injury. 

Q:

How does the design affect the performance of the firefly™ device?

A:

Powered by a wrist-watch size battery with software controlled by a single button, the self-adhesive firefly™ device is encased in a flexible, moulded strap that shapes itself easily and comfortably to the leg, behind the knee. A green flashing LED light indicates when the device is switched on and also defines which of seven possible stimulation levels has been set. On the underside of the strap, covered by a water-based conductive hydrogel for secure adhesion, two electrodes deliver painless neuromuscular electro-stimulation to the common peroneal nerve.

Q:

Who is the firefly™ device for?

A:

The firefly™ device is targeted at high level, elite and amateur sports people who undergo serious, high impact exercise in their training and competitive events. These elite and competitive amateur athletes take their sport very seriously, committing time and money, and actively seek marginal gains and new ways to improve their performance. 

Q:

Who has tested the firefly™ device?

A:

A number of elite and Team GB athletes have used the firefly™ devices as part of their recovery strategies, they include: GB Hockey, GB Swimming, GB Basketball and GB triathletes.

Other users include premiership football clubs (i.e. Manchester City), premiership rugby clubs (i.e. Sale Sharks, London Irish) and international rugby teams, including the Birtish & Irish Lions and England Rugby League.

Used recently by the England Rugby League team, the Head of Human Performance, Richard Hunwicks said: "England’s competitive schedule involves intense periods of training, preparation and competition. The intensity of these periods is magnified due to the short time frame (4-5 weeks) in which the team has to not only peak but maintain physical freshness during this time. The firefly™ device has become an integral part of the teams’ recovery process. The importance of accelerated recovery cannot be underestimated and a progression away from typical methods of active recovery are invaluable. The ease of use of the firefly™ device allows for passive recovery at any time or place with maximal effect. The technology has a strong base of support from the research and is also highly regarded by the athletes.”

Q:

On which locations on the body can I wear the firefly™ device?

A:

The device is to be used on the lower limbs. Aligning the raised indicator line on the device (blue arrows) with the fibula head will stimulate the common peroneal nerve, which in turn increases the amount of blood pumped through the muscles and the overall venous return.

Q:

How long does the battery last?

A:

We publish the device is for 24 hour use - it has a battery life normally up to 30 hours. After that the software switches the device off, permanently.

Q:

Can I sleep with the firefly™ device on?

A:

There is no detrimental effect to sleeping with the devices on. However we do see sleep as being the God of all recovery, so if you are finding the devices to be disruptive then either lower the settings or just turn them off completely.

Q:

When is the best time to use the firefly™ device?

A:

The best time to use firefly™ is after intensive exercise where you would suffer from muscle soreness, the next day, following training sessions or races/competition. Typical use could be once a month, once a week or even once a day. We recommend using firefly™ selectively, when you need that bit extra to aid your recovery. Ideally you should wear firefly™ immediately after exercise, usually after you have showered and changed, so you are ready to relax.

Q:

How do I dispose of the firefly™ device once I have used it?

A:

You would dispose of the firefly™ devices exactly the same way you dispose of your everyday house hold waste and batteries. Firstkind recommend recycling the firefly™ devices, as this is better for the environment. The contents inside a firefly™ battery is significantly less hazardous than in a normal AA battery, therefore more environmentally friendly when disposed of. 

Q:

What is the benefit of the firefly™ knee strap?

A:

The firefly™ knee strap secures the firefly™ device to the leg to provide greater adhesion and a more consistent level of stimulation. On some shaped legs the head of the device can sometimes not stick down fully to the front of the knee. The knee strap provides a solution to combat this issue and ensures the device doesn’t catch on any clothing.

Q:

Can I wear the firefly™ device whilst I am training?

A:

The firefly™ device is designed as a recovery device to be worn after high exertion training to increase blood flow when you are at rest. However, it will not do any harm if worn whilst training and exercising. If you are mobile you will naturally have an increased blood circulation and this will override the firefly™ device.

Q:

Can I wear the firefly™ device in the shower?

A:

The firefly™ device is not designed to be used in the shower as it not waterproof. The adhesive gel is water based, therefore slight dampening of the gel will help remove device from the leg.

Q:

Is the firefly™ device painful to use?

A:

No, there is no sensation of pain. Instead there is the feeling of the muscles in the lower leg contracting every second. This may take a few moments to adjust to but once accustomed to the sensation the muscles contracting are soon ignored. 

Q:

How does it differ from other electrical stimulation devices?

A:

The firefly™ device is unique in that it delivers neuromuscular electro-stimulation via the common peroneal nerve to activate the muscle pumps of the lower leg, as opposed to other electro-stimulation devices that deliver stimulation direct to the muscle and might be less well tolerated in terms of comfort.

Q:

Can I use the fireflyTM device to treat injury conditions?

A:

The firefly™ device is a medical device that is CE Marked for recovery after exercise. Its intended use is:
• to increase blood circulation
• for the prevention and treatment of oedema (firefly™ can be used to treat an oedema following an injury, to return an athlete to fitness, when no longer injured)
• to aid recovery of minor sprains and strains

Q:

What published evidence do you have to support the firefly™ recovery claims?

A:

We have a range of published research posted on the Studies section on the firefly™ website

Q:

Are there any contraindications for using the firefly™ device?

A:

There are just two contraindications:
• Do not use on individuals with cardiac demand pacemakers
• Do not use following a recently diagnosed DVT

Q:

What is considered the correct level of stimulation?

A:

When fitted you look for a discernible movement of the muscles in the lower leg and visible outwards movement of the foot. It is not sufficient to see only a slight movement in the muscles of the lower leg alone. The movement in both the lower leg and foot should be discernible. 

Q:

How do I fit the firefly™ device?

A:

Follow the fitting instructions enclosed in the foil pouch, or simply click this link to see our fitting video

Q:

Can the firefly™ device be worn effectively and safely if a lower limb injury resulted in tissue damage and significant swelling around the stimulation location and the knee? The wound has already closed and MRI scans have confirmed no significant damage to the common peroneal nerve, still patient has noticeable muscle weakness. 

A:

In such a case, Firstkind recommends wearing the firefly™ device on the non-injured leg only as required until the wound has healed and the swelling has gone down completely.

Once the swelling is down, the wound is completely healed and it is confirmed that the common peroneal nerve can be stimulated as before in the usual or the alternate positions, the firefly™ device can be worn on the previously injured leg.