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The PowerDot is a muscle performance and recovery tool with electrodes that a person sticks to their skin. Therabody recently acquired the PowerDot device, which features two versions: Uno and Duo.
This article explores the PowerDot 2.0, the differences between the Uno and Duo, and features and benefits. We also explore the advantages and disadvantages and other alternatives.
In 2009, following a motorcycle accident, Dr. Jason Wersland created a device that would later become the first Theragun. Through brand development, the company that sells the device is now called Therabody.
Therabody has a 1.06 rating with the Better Business Bureau according to 65 customer reviews, though it does not have accreditation with the platform. The company also has 181 complaints, four of which are still unresolved.
On TrustPilot, Therabody has a 4.1-star rating out of 5 according to 936 reviews. Both positive and negative reviews revolve around customer support and product quality.
The PowerDot device itself has a 2.4-star rating on Trustpilot from 10 reviews, and many reviewers commented that its customer support is lacking. They also mention problems with unavailable replacement pods and issues with tracking and delivery. Additionally, others claim the PowerDot batteries are nonreplaceable and that the warranty does not cover them.
Therabody markets the PowerDot as a muscle stimulator to support workout recovery. The device attaches to the skin at three points using one rectangular and two circular hydrogel adhesive electrodes. The rectangular pad holds the power button.
The PowerDot links with a mobile app to allow individuals to control its stimulation intensity. It combines neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to send electronic pulses to the nerves.
The device uses NMES and TENS to help stimulate muscle contraction and the sensory nerves to relieve pain temporarily.
It may suit people wanting to increase their muscle performance after exercise.
The main feature of the PowerDot is its ability to stimulate muscles. It places the control of the intensity and target muscle combination with the app instead of leaving it to an individual.
The PowerDot provides:
- wireless app control via Bluetooth
- guided, automatic programs that change intensity and frequency for performance and recovery
- hands-free use
- customized treatments
According to the brand, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the PowerDot as a Class II medical device.
|Price||Uno: $199 |
|Battery life||20 hours|
|Size||60.4 mm x 43.5 mm x 13.6 mm|
|Circular pad||5.5 cm diameter|
|Rectangular pad||9 cm x 5 cm|
|Warranty||1-year limited warranty|
|Shipping||free, 1–4 business days|
|Returns||30-day money-back guarantee|
|App integrations||Apple Health, Garmin, Strava|
The PowerDot 2.0 Uno comes with one Powerdot pod, a set of two rectangular and four circular electrode pads, one 10-centimeter (cm) lead cable, and one 30-cm lead cable. It also has a micro USB charging cable and carrying case.
Both versions are available in either black or red.
What is the difference between the PowerDot 2.0 Uno and Duo?
In comparison with the Uno, the Duo includes:
- an extra PowerDot pod
- an extra set of lead cables
- another micro USB charging cable
The idea behind the PowerDot 2.0 Duo is that individuals can double the power and performance from the TENS and NMES by stimulating both sides of the target muscle group. For example, a person may place pads on both sides of their thigh. This approach reportedly accelerates recovery, making the Duo an upgrade.
Both the Uno and the Duo have 20 hours of battery life.
Individuals can charge the PowerDot by plugging the cable into a USB port in a laptop, computer, or USB charging station.
Therabody also offers a charging dock that holds up to two devices.
Other replacement parts
Aside from the standard PowerDot 2.0 Uno and Duo, Therabody also sells replacement parts, such as electrode pads and butterfly back pads.
The electrode packs include:
|1 pack||2 rectangular and 4 circular pads||$18|
|3 pack||6 rectangular and 12 circular pads||$52|
|6 pack||12 rectangular and 24 circular pads||$100|
|12 pack||24 rectangular and 48 circular pads||$192|
The butterfly packs include one large butterfly-shaped electrode for the back:
|1 pack||1 butterfly||$18|
|3 pack||3 butterflies||$52|
|6 pack||6 butterflies||$100|
|12 pack||12 butterflies||$192|
The replacement pads, similar to the original, are reusable and stick to the skin with a hydrogel adhesive.
The company claims that each adhesive pad lasts for 20–25 applications.
The company requires individuals to install the PowerDot app on a smartphone or tablet to use the device. A person uses the app to set up the device correctly and optimize its use.
The app features:
- Guided treatments: A library of over 400 customizable treatments that cover warmups, recovery, and wellness muscle stimulations.
- Customized treatment plans: Individuals can customize each program or plan according to their activity and workouts. They can also tweak the treatment depending on their pain, tolerance level, or session length.
- Pad placement: Each treatment session comes with accompanying visuals that show exactly where to attach the pods and pads for maximum effectiveness.
- Smart connectivity: The PowerDot app connects with fitness apps to recommend supporting programs to an individual’s workouts.
- Progress tracking: The app can track and monitor workouts and daily activities.
The app tracks the PowerDot’s performance and battery life. It also sends notifications when people need to replace the adhesive pads.
Similar to other fitness products, the PowerDot has some benefits and drawbacks.
- Pain relief: The PowerDot’s TENS function stimulates the sensory nerves to release endorphins for temporary pain relief.
Health expertsstate that endorphins are the natural version of pain relievers such as morphine or opioids.
- Faster recovery: Therabody claims that the smart programs on the PowerDot app combine TENS and NMES to improve the delivery of red blood cells, which can help reduce soreness and improve muscle recovery.
- Menstruation pain relief: The company states that the PowerDot offers alternative pain relief for menstrual pain with its TENS feature. A
2020 studylooked at the difference of period pain relief in relation to frequencies, duration, and intensity of TENS treatment and found it to be effective and safe. However, further studies with larger populations would provide greater evidence of this.
- Price: The PowerDot can be costly for some individuals, especially those who use it frequently, as they need to replace the pads every 25 days. If a person needs stimulation and relief in multiple muscle groups over a long period, replacement pad costs can add up significantly.
- Limited specific research: Numerous studies show that NMES may offer benefits for people requiring physiotherapy. For example, a
2017 studyexplored different settings for the clinical practice of NMES by physiotherapists. However, Therabody does not mention any third-party studies that explore the specific use of the PowerDot to treat patients.
- Limited warranty: The PowerDot only comes with a 1-year limited warranty that does not cover the battery. The battery is also nonreplaceable.
Both the PowerDot 2.0 Uno and Duo come with a 1-year warranty.
However, reviewers mention that this warranty does not cover the product’s battery, which is nonreplaceable.
The company also requires individuals to present proof of purchase when returning defective products within the warranty period.
Therabody also allows customers to return its products for a full refund within 30 days.
The PowerDot is a unique product because it allows individuals to use it with an app. Many alternatives take the form of stand-alone devices that individuals need to carry with them.
Some of these alternative products include:
- iRelieve Pain Relief & Recovery: This device comes with 14 TENS and EMS programs and 25 intensity levels. However, it is nonrechargeable and requires AAA batteries.
- TechCare Massager Muscle Stimulator: This muscle stimulator is another stand-alone device. It features 24 preprogrammed modes, a rechargeable battery, and a lifetime guarantee.
Here is how the PowerDot compares to other products:
|Product features||PowerDot Uno and Duo||iReliev Pain Relief & Recovery||TechCare Massager Muscle Stimulator|
|Warranty||1 year||2 years when registering the product||Lifetime|
|Purchase cost||Uno: $199|
|Around $75||Around $50|
The PowerDot is a wearable muscle performance and recovery device for attaching to the skin with hydrogel adhesive electrodes. People can control the device’s programs and settings using a mobile app. This means that, unlike other stand-alone devices, they can access new settings and programs via app updates at no additional cost.
The product is more expensive than some others, especially if a person requires regular replacement pads. Additionally, there are no third-party studies that specifically confirm the PowerDot’s effectiveness.
Additionally, those wanting to relieve muscle pain may consider speaking with a physician or physiotherapist to ensure the PowerDot is appropriate before purchasing one.
Please note: Medical News Today does not imply warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or endorse any of the mobile device applications this article mentions. These apps have not been evaluated for medical accuracy by Medical News Today. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them unless otherwise indicated.