Can Revitive cause harm?
Have you ever used Revitive, or are you hesitant to use it, wondering about its potential side effects?
As a physical therapist, I’m revisiting the known or plausible potential side effects.
Take-home message: the main side effects described in studies are skin irritations and muscle pains. Some people report more troublesome side effects not described in the studies.
Happy reading 🙂!
Last update: October 2023
Disclaimer: no affiliate links. Complete disclosure in legal notices.
Written by Nelly Darbois, physical therapist and scientific writer
Which Revitive device are we talking about?
Revitive is the name of a brand that sells various devices.
The most well-known devices are ‘circulation booster.’ Here are their names:
- Medic Knee
- Medic Coach
These circulation stimulators use a technology called ‘ Electrical Muscle Stimulation’. It involves applying a safe electrical current to the skin to stimulate the contraction of specific muscles.
The Revitive brand also sells Revitive ultrasound devices and Aerosure devices for respiratory issues.
In this article, I’m focusing on Revitive circulatory stimulators (all of them) as well as competing brands (there are many!).
How to find out about Revitive’s side effects?
It’s entirely reasonable to question the potential unwanted side effects of a new product you want to use.
Here’s how my patients typically seek information on this matter:
- Ask their acquaintances if they’ve used the device and what resulted from it.
- Look for reviews and testimonials online.
- Seek the opinion of their trusted healthcare professional (doctor, physical therapist, physiotherapist).
- And for a minority: go directly to see what scientific studies published on the subject have to say. Many devices need market authorization to be sold, and studies assessing benefits and risks are often required.
In this article, I will focus on the findings from studies and provide some testimonials (for illustrative purposes).
What do scientific studies say about Revitive and its side effects?
There are several scientific publications on the potential benefits of Revitive, which I have already detailed in a previous article.
Here, I am focusing on what is said about observed or potential side effects when using Revitive.
Here is what can be found in these scientific publications, which focus on both circulatory stimulators specifically and the technology behind them (neuromuscular stimulation) more generally.
While infrequent, potential side effects of neuromuscular stimulation include skin irritation and muscle pain.Nimura 2023
The use of neuromuscular stimulation as a rehabilitation device has been reported as feasible and safe in all studies, with no recorded harmful side effects or adverse events.Burgess 2019
No adverse events were reported in this trial, confirming the device’s good safety profile. Patient compliance with device use was satisfactory according to the patient diary.Ravikumar 2017, device used on 22 people with clinical class C2-C4 venous disease (varicose veins, edema, skin trophic disorders (pigmentation, eczema, induration))
However, as is often the case, some studies do not provide information on how adverse effects were investigated, so it is unclear whether they were actually recorded in certain studies.
This is not specific to studies on this topic but rather a more general issue with the scientific publishing system.
It is likely, therefore:
- That side effects of circulation booster use are underestimated.
- But that these side effects are relatively rare or mild.
Indeed, these devices are very commonly used. We would most likely be aware if there were a risk of serious and relatively frequent adverse effects.
If you do not have any contraindications to using Revitive, the main risk you are likely exposing yourself to is having pain or discomfort after use, which should resolve quickly.
What do testimonials say about Revitive’s side effects?
Examining testimonials about the side effects of Revitive is more challenging.
For at least these reasons:
- Establishing a causal link between the use of Revitive and the observed negative effect is difficult without an extremely detailed and precise description of the context. In studies, precautions are precisely taken on this matter, but it’s harder to do in the context of testimonials.
- Testimonials are sometimes vague. For example, the device may have been misused, used in conjunction with something else, or used despite contraindications.
Just by reading my comprehensive article on Revitive Medic: Does it Work, you will see several people who claim to have experienced side effects not reported in the studies. Here are some examples (in French):
And by browsing the internet, you will find numerous testimonials of adverse effects (as well as positive ones) described as being related to the use of Revitive or other circulatory stimulators.
Furthermore, the FDA (the institution in the United States that regulates the approval of drugs and medical devices) reported an adverse effect associated with the use of Revitive in 2018.
The customer, Mr. M, who purchased the device because his legs were hurting and twitching all the time, reported that approximately 2 hours after using the device, his right leg swelled to about one and a half times its normal size due to deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Three days later, a Doppler ultrasound was performed, and no DVT or blood clot could be identified. The doctor prescribed anticoagulant medications and exercises for the customer.FDA 2018
What can be concluded?
Conclusion: Should you use Revitive or not?
My intention with this article is not to tell you “you MUST use Revitive” or “you MUST NOT use Revitive.”
Assessing the benefits and risks associated with the use of a device or therapy is always something difficult and very personal: we do not all evaluate benefits and risks in the same way.
In my opinion, to form your own opinion on the value of Revitive in your case, you should weigh its potential side effects that I discussed here against its potential benefits (↪️see my full article on Revitive on this topic).
By reading these two articles (and probably cross-referencing with other sources of information), I hope to help you form your own opinion on the device and the question at hand!
Personally, I have never used Revitive, nor have I recommended it to patients in physiotherapy (even though some of my patients took the initiative to use it on their own).
Happy reflections 🙂, and feel free to join the discussion in the comments below if needed!
You may also like:
Baron MV, Silva PE, Koepp J, Urbanetto JS, Santamaria AFM, Dos Santos MP, de Mello Pinto MV, Brandenburg C, Reinheimer IC, Carvalho S, Wagner MB, Miliou T, Poli-de-Figueiredo CE, Pinheiro da Costa BE. Efficacy and safety of neuromuscular electrical stimulation in the prevention of pressure injuries in critically ill patients: a randomized controlled trial. Ann Intensive Care. 2022 Jun 13;12(1):53. doi: 10.1186/s13613-022-01029-1. PMID: 35695996; PMCID: PMC9188909.
Ravikumar R, Lane TR, Babber A, Onida S, Davies AH. A randomised controlled trial of neuromuscular stimulation in non-operative venous disease improves clinical and symptomatic status. Phlebology. 2021;36(4):290-302. doi:10.1177/0268355520968640
Babber A, Ravikumar R, Onida S, Lane TRA, Davies AH. Effect of footplate neuromuscular electrical stimulation on functional and quality-of-life parameters in patients with peripheral artery disease: pilot, and subsequent randomized clinical trial. Br J Surg. 2020 Mar;107(4):355-363. doi: 10.1002/bjs.11398. Epub 2020 Jan 7. PMID: 31912491.
Ravikumar R, Williams KJ, Babber A, Lane TRA, Moore HM, Davies AH. Randomised Controlled Trial: Potential Benefit of a Footplate Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Device in Patients with Chronic Venous Disease. Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2017 Jan;53(1):114-121. doi: 10.1016/j.ejvs.2016.09.015. Epub 2016 Dec 2. PMID: 27919609.
FDA 2018 here
Varatharajan L, Williams K, Moore H, Davies AH. The effect of footplate neuromuscular electrical stimulation on venous and arterial haemodynamics. Phlebology. 2015 Oct;30(9):648-50. doi: 10.1177/0268355514542682. Epub 2014 Jul 4. PMID: 24997200.
Nimura M, Lane T, Rawashdeh M, Onida S, Javed A, Sritharan G, Reese G, Hrouda D, Davies AH. Study protocol for neuromuscular stimulation for rehabilitation after general and vascular surgery: a pilot randomised clinical study. BMJ Open. 2023 Feb 16;13(2):e061800. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-061800. PMID: 36797015; PMCID: PMC9936270.
Burgess LC, Immins T, Swain I, Wainwright TW. Effectiveness of neuromuscular electrical stimulation for reducing oedema: A systematic review. J Rehabil Med. 2019 Apr 1;51(4):237-243. doi: 10.2340/16501977-2529. PMID: 30834452.
Written by Nelly Darbois
I love writing articles based on my experience as a physiotherapist (since 2012), scientific writer, and extensive researcher in international scientific literature.
I live in the French Alps 🌞❄️, where I work as a scientific editor for my own website, which is where you are right now.