Russian electrical stimulation: the early experiments

Phys Ther. 2002 Oct;82(10):1019-30.


Russian forms of electrical stimulation became popular to a large extent as a result of the activities of Kots, who claimed force gains of up to 40% in elite athletes as a result of what was then a new form of stimulation. He did not provide details of his published work, nor did he give references. Russian electrical stimulation became popular despite the lack of research in the English-language literature. No studies published in English examined whether the "10/50/10" treatment regimen (10 seconds of stimulation followed by 50 seconds rest, repeated for 10 minutes) advocated by Kots is optimal, and only one study addressed whether maximum muscle torque was produced at an alternating current frequency of 2.5 kHz. The few studies that compared low-frequency monophasic pulsed current and Russian electrical stimulation are inconclusive. This article reviews and provides details of the original studies by Kots and co-workers. The authors contend that these studies laid the foundations for the use of Russian forms of electrical stimulation in physical therapy. The authors conclude that there are data in the Russian-language literature that support the use of Russian electrical stimulation but that some questions remain unanswered.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Electric Stimulation Therapy* / history
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy* / methods
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Physical Therapy Modalities / history
  • Research Design
  • Russia
  • Sports / physiology

Personal name as subject

  • Yakov Kots