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Circulation boosters, good or bad?

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by Rachel Darbyshire, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    I was wondering if anyone had any evidence on whether or not the circulation boosters advertised are any good? They claim to improve circulation, reduce swelling, joint pain and numbness. The booster works by sending tiny electrical impulses through the nerve endings in the soles of the feet and to the lower leg which in turn, stimulates muscle contraction and improves circulation.

    I have had many patients asking about this, and as they are priced at £200 it's alot of money if they don't do the job.

    Any advice appreciated.

  2. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    I would have thought that if they worked vascular surgeons would be the first to be recommending them to their patients? Have you ever heard of a vascular surgeon do that?
  3. wear84

    wear84 Member

    I've also had patients asking about them but always been honest and said I have no experience of them.

    I've since had a couple of patients who have tried them - one in particular finds it very useful - used to get severe cramps and had tried crampeze and other products with little success. She now finds that she still gets the cramps to some degree but certainly not as bad as they once were.

    As you say though they are a lot of money and I was dubious of their efficacy
  4. Thanks for the replies.

    DaVinci, I have heard of no one except the companies recommending them.

    wear84 I'm glad that your patient has had some relief from using it, however, I don't think i'm going to start recommending them myself!
  5. pgcarter

    pgcarter Well-Known Member

    Short term peripheral circ boost can be obtained pharmacologically......nicotinamide is sometimes prescribed for that, do you want long term or short term action? Anything that demonstrably achieved vasodilation is going to help isn't it? If this is achieved by electrical stimulation then why not? I think saying that if it worked then surgeons would promote it is very naive......how many orthopaedic surgeons actively promote soft tissue rehab via physio?.....plenty don't bother, does that mean its worthless?
    regards Phill
  6. pommypod

    pommypod Member

    Ask them for their research papers and clinical evidence base....should be interesting. Post it on here and we can do a critical review
  7. Thanks guys, I'll see if I can get their research papers. I'll keep you updated!
  8. There is one clinical study on their website (scroll down a quarter of the page)


    After reading it i'm still not convinced, there is support for the electrical stimulation helping with reduction in swelling and blood pooling. However I feel some gentle walking by the patients in their own homes would probably do the same job? Please have a read and let me know what you think.


  9. pommypod

    pommypod Member

    No dates? or publications in recognised journals? lots of blind you with science but a distinct lack of referencing ?????
    Individual quotes from specialists?

    Well dodgy !!!
  10. stevewells

    stevewells Active Member

    The advert and website both have an endorsement by the same vascular surgeon - I am currently investigating whether that person is in fact a director of the company!! Will let you know what I find out
  11. Saab

    Saab Member

    I am too sceptical about these circulation boosters and associated cost.

    I have found one of my patients ( approx 65-70 yoa, obese) who has used it and is still using it, found it to be very useful in decreasing the frequency of her cramping and also reducing the amount of swelling. I can't quantify the change but apparently its enough for her to notice a change.

    She's happy with it so i often suggest it to patients with the same traits.

    just my two cents...

  12. sarah63

    sarah63 Welcome New Poster

    Hi All,

    I am emailing on behalf of WeightWorld.co.uk, a weight loss/healthy living specialist online. We have recently taken on the Electro Flex Circulation Booster and I would like to offer those on Podiatry Arena some more information on the product as I can see here that the Circulation Booster v3 model has received some bad press/coverage.

    At WeightWorld, we do not stock the Circulation Booster v3 but the Electro Flex Circulation Booster. The item uses T.E.N.S technology (a tried and tested technology advocated by doctors all over the world) to stimulate muscle movement in the legs and promote blood circulation. As a result of an increased blood circulation, any pain/aching/swelling in the legs can be reduced, relieving much discomfort.

    We have insured that our item comes fully certified to be sold in the UK (look out for the CE mark on the box of the product.)

    Whilst not everyone is going to necessarily want such a product, the feedback from our customers has been that the item is very lightweight, easily portable and very effective at reducing pain from swelling in the legs and ankles. The tingling sensation in the legs can be a little uncomfortable at first, but after a couple of days our customers report an acclimatisation to the sensation.

    If you have any further questions on the item, please don't hesitate to contact our customer service department on 0207 084 7596.

    Many thanks,

  13. stevewells

    stevewells Active Member

    Sarah - do you supply users with a list of cautions and contraindications?

  14. charlie70

    charlie70 Active Member

    I've not recommended it to anyone (due to the cost - although one should bear in mind that the company does have a refund-if-returned-within-3-months policy) but about 3 of my patients have bought one. They all have PVD with cold feet, cramping etc and all 3 of them have been very pleased with the reults, reporting a noted decrease in pain/cramping.
    I'm still sitting on the fence but I won't dismiss it out of hand.
  15. sarah63

    sarah63 Welcome New Poster

    Circulation booster

    Hi Steve,

    Yes we do provide our customers with a list of cautions as not everyone should use devices that function using TENS technology.

    If you would like to read the list of cautions/contraindications, please visit the following link: http://www.weightworld.co.uk/electro-flex-circulation-booster.html

    Many thanks,

  16. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

  17. warwickm

    warwickm Guest

    After many years of Chemotherapy and subsequent diabetes (Type 2) which has resulted in severe myopathy of both my feets (no ulcers or sores at this point) I had been experiencing severe discomfort in both feet. I couldn't even have the bed sheets touching my toes.

    I was given a Circulation Booster product for Christmas and started using it. Within about 5 days of 3 sessions a day the pain has largely gone. While my feet are not restored the pain relief has been excellent.

    I usually use the CB 2 times a day (morning & evening) for 30 minutes on 1/2 its power. I find if I don't use it for a week or so the pins and needles etc. return
  18. rconnors

    rconnors Welcome New Poster

    HI Phil and others,
    I have noted there is no contraindication with peripheral neuropathy either on the website or on the box. Having noted that -I was still going to try it on a guy with neuropathy because I still believe we have little else evidence based treatments for neuropathy .
    We a machine at work that was purchased before I got here.
    Yes I think the research is cruddy and anecdotal and could see little reason to recommend them but will give it a go.
    Yes TENS is in use and researched but as for it improving circulation- whatever that means- still sceptical.
  19. podpup

    podpup Member

    I recommend the circulation booster only in the case of venous disease/valvular dysfunction. It makes sense to me that increasing muscle activity will aid venouse return. I see little evidence supporting its use with arterial disease.
  20. William Fowler

    William Fowler Active Member

    I have been trying to do some reading on this and the best science I can come up with from one of the website is these references:
    but I can't find any of them are actually published and hence subjected to peer review .... anyone aware of any research that has been actually published?
  21. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I found your second reference published here:
    Electrical foot stimulation and implications for the prevention of Venous thromboembolic disease
  22. halifax

    halifax Member

    Both me and my mother use a circulation booster.

    She swears that it gets rid of her restless leg syndrome which she has had pretty much all her life.

    I have used it daily for over a month now and have to say it has not really done anything for my bad circulation.
  23. Iain B

    Iain B Welcome New Poster

  24. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    From the TGA:
  25. footfan

    footfan Active Member

    I think its very much like probiotic drinks..............if they worked the companies wouldnt have to advertise them. Not my words the words of a Consultant Gastroenterologist
  26. james bond

    james bond Welcome New Poster

    Hi Rachel,
    I've done some research on this topic of circulation booster. My mum has parkinsn's and and because of her immobilty - her feet are now blue, swollen, stiff and sore. i read the information about the circulation booster. Mr Mark White is a vascular surgeon from Guildford and has a clinic in london - you can google him. He's 100% legitimate and he promotes the circulation booster. also, on circulation booster - their is an independent clinical study by kings college london - the paper is pretty long but to paraphrase it shows that circulation booster - after 10mins use will reduce aches/pain in lower limbs and increase blood circulation. The technology is EMS- electrical muscle stimulation - there's no dark arts here - it simply stimulates the plantar muscle in the foot which causes your calf muscles to contract and release which forces blood up through the leg. I suggest you go the circulation booster website and look at the independent claims for yourself and make your own mind up. also, it can't advertise on tv without independent substaniation. if you've got 5 mins - go to circulation booster website and see for yourself - i hope this help

  27. DaVinci

    DaVinci Well-Known Member

    So how do ou explain the stance of the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia (reported above) who conducted a hearing into the claims of the product and its ruling prevented them from making the claims that they did?

  28. I really do wonder what your real name is 007 and what your job title with Hi Tech Health is ???

    Just asking
  29. Iain B

    Iain B Welcome New Poster

    Circulation Booster

    I have fresh informaion on this. I understand that the ASA in the UK will be making a ruling this comming week on whether Hi Tech Health are allowed to continue to sell the product on TV.

    Might be an idea to keep an eye on http://www.asa.org.uk/ASA-action/Adjudications.aspx
  30. james bond

    james bond Welcome New Poster

    I'm advocating assessing the evidence for yourself, then make an informed opinion. It's helped my mother - that's my case - full stop...

    I can't vouch for anyone else but in this kind of situation when the doctor won't help anymore because she's now in her seventies and her lack of mobility means that she now sits in front on the tv for hours without any movement at all. Her current medication for fluid retention does not alleviate the symptoms. This device does - that's it... I'm sure in years to come it will be prescribed on the NHS - same way tens is.. we need to find non drug answers if possible

    :drinks anyone who is thinking of purchasing any medical device should do their homework thoroughly - that would be my advice. In the case of parkinsons which my mother has - her physio therapy has also helped - a think a combination of activities is the best - and a positive spirit because it's not only devasting for the person but the family around them too..

    I hope this helps
  31. They would not be looking a banning advertising in 2 separate countries if the company could back up their claims.

    as an aside 007 snake oil salesman just does not have the same ring to it.
  32. Julie M

    Julie M Member

    I was a little sceptical about these but i have had a few pts who have resorted to these circulation boosters and all have positive experiences to report, both with circulatory benefits and improvement of swelling, but interestingly i have had 1 pt who "feels" their neuropathic pain has improved.
    Personally, the placebo effect may be just as powerful and i can only feel that as more get sold and possibly demand increases they will get cheaper !! may be next years xmas present or car boot item !!

  33. Lorna41

    Lorna41 Welcome New Poster

    I would like to say I purchased an Electro Flex machine and what a con it really is. Yes it does have CE certification, but as I have since found out every electrical device has that in the UK, including an electric toothbrush. You need to have a Class IIa medical certificate to be classed as a medical device - and the Electro - Flex machine does not have it.

    Since finding this out it explained why I was feeling no improvement after using it. Thank goodness for the money back guarantee otherwise I would be stuck with this useless piece of equipment.

    Now I have found out this bit of information, I have done my homework and even asked my Podiatrist in Kent what she makes of it all. She recommended the Circulation Booster. The one advertised on TV with Judith Chalmers. The company offers a money back guarantee as well. I have purchased one and will let you know what I think of it....has any one here tried the Circulation Booster? It does have the medical certificate and great reviews so hopefully this one will be better.
  34. pgcarter

    pgcarter Well-Known Member

    These issues are so difficult to see through, but like drug therapy the results and effects can be so idiosyncratic. I struggle to see the logic in prohibiting a company from claiming that TENS therapy may cause increased muscle action.....and that increased muscle action may improve lower limb fluid return, be it blood or other fluids. This does not seem like a very long bow to draw at all?? And yet when drugs don't work for a segment of the people they are prerscribed for nobody gets up in arms about that??
    I have used one, you should see those foot and lower legs muscles jump and contract when you dial up the power level a bit. For someone who does little or no activity in a day I have no doubt it simulates some of the benefits of foot and lower leg function. Just exactly what and how much benefit is a completely different question. To buy one of these things is actually pretty cheap.......way less than 50 packets of cigarettes in Aus, and as an experiment to check for personal improvement it only costs about what two 10 minute appointmnets with a medical specialist.....who will probably only tell you that they can't help. I have no doubt whatever that for some people this kind of stimulation will result in feeling better.
    regards Phill Carter
  35. mat@hightechhealth

    mat@hightechhealth Welcome New Poster

    Hi All

    I work for High Tech Health and i hope you do not mind me invading your site.

    We really care what people think of our Circulation Booster. We are also always looking at improvements.

    We would be more than willing for you guys to have a few of the Boosters for you to assess for yourselves.

    all that we ask in return is that if positive you can give us a review or testimonial. We will share the clinical evidence we have on it as well as talk to you about some more clinical trials that we are currently conducting.

    It is a class2a medical device so we have already jumped thropugh a lot of hoops to get that status.

    There are a lot of inferior copy cat devices that do not work and that cannot make the claims that we do.

    We have more and more people in clinical settings such as TVN nurses, Physios etc recommending them and our philosophy is that it works and we are more than prepared to put our money where our mouth is and let you guys test them.

    please private message me if you are interested in testing the devices for yourself. They work of EMS which is TENS technology which is widely accepted within clinical settings.

    Many Thanks

  36. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    You are welcome, like the representative from any company. Generally speaking, we more interested in 'science' than anecdotes and testimonials (in fact, generally, there is usually a very negative reaction to any product that relies on anecdotes and testimonials). Feel free to keep coming back and point us to any new research as it becomes available.
  37. fishpod

    fishpod Well-Known Member

    these things are totally bogus just like weight loss tea and all that other crap in the sunday supplements how come vascular depts arnt giving em to patients cos they dont work no double blind trials only a testimonial off ethel age 901 who says its a wonderfull life changing gadget she would be better buying a rampant rabbit far more satisfied users
  38. Charlotte78

    Charlotte78 Welcome New Poster

    Hi Everybody,

    I represent WeightWorld.co.uk, a weight loss/healthy living specialist online. I hope you don't mind me using this forum to talk to you about our circulation enhancer. As we continue to see high number of Podiatry Arena readers visit our website, I thought this may be of interest to you.
    I wanted to let you know that we now have a new Electroflex Circulation Enhancer which I think is worth you knowing about. The new product was vigorously tested and is approved as a type IIa medical device, compliant with European Medical Device Directive 93/42 EEC. This means it is confirmed to be safe to use and to relieve the symptoms of poor blood circulation.
    If you wish to find out more, please visit our website - <a href="http://www.weightworld.co.uk/electro-flex-circulation-enhancer.html?utm_source=Podiatry%2BArena&utm_medium=Forum&utm_campaign=Podiatry%2BArena%2Bforum">ElectroFlex</a>
  39. james bond

    james bond Welcome New Poster

    Hi Rachel,

    Might be worth checking out this UK vascular surgeon - his website is

    Treatment of Varicose Veins at The Whiteley Clinic, Surrey UKThe Whiteley Clinic provides treatments and information on Varicose Veins Conditions.

    I've seen him on the circulation booster website and he obviosuly knows what he's on about - he's a vascular surgeon:welcome::good:

    circulation booster is now available at lloyds pharmacy too - I've seen there adverts in the press - I've been using too and it good for cold feet - if you suffer from poor circulation..

    here's a link to the research side - a clinical study by Kings College London - (I reckon they know what they're on about - don't you:morning:

    go to circulation booster website:

    The following Independent Clinical Study tested The Circulation Booster in reference to blood pooling in the lower limbs which was undertaken by:

    Dr. David A Green*1, Dr. D Paul Sumners2 & Mr. Steve P Hunter2

    1. Division of Applied Biomedical Research, Department of Physiology, King's College

    London, Guys Campus, London SE1 1UL, UK.

    2. London South Bank University, Sport and Exercise Science Research Centre, Faculty

    of Engineering, Science and the Built Environment, 103 Borough Road, London, SE1

    0AA, UK.

    The following paper is titled:

    Effect of percutaneous electrical stimulation of the sole upon lower limb blood pooling induced by protracted sitting in man.

    To summarise the paper (PDF below).

    "Following 10 minutes of electrical percutaneous stimulation of the soles there was no

    significant pooling remaining at the level of the foot, sub calf and calf itself. Thus,

    percutaneous sole stimulation was effective in ameliorating pooling induced by

    prolonged quiet sitting."

    This means, in plain english, that only after 10 minutes of using The Circulation Booster®, the participants demonstrated that swelling and fluid retention in the lower limbs was significantly reduced. This means that The Circulation Booster® increases blood circulation.

    Download Circulation Booster clinical study.pdf: http://www.circulationbooster.co.uk/about-circulation-booster/what-the-experts-say/

    it may help you :dizzy:
  40. Iain B

    Iain B Welcome New Poster

    Intersting to note that Hi Tech who marfket this product have just has thier other main product banned by the ASA because they could not support the claims. Here is the link http://www.asa.org.uk/ASA-action/Adjudications/2011/2/High-Tech-Health-Ltd/TF_ADJ_49779.aspx.

    Also interesting to see that a cheaper product called Circulation Doctor is now on the market which has a Class 11 and medical trials which rather suggests the circulaton booster's price is somewhat inflated !

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