It is also called as Tone Burst current. It was first investigated by Dr. Y M Kots in the Russian literature. It provoked much interest because the successful Olympic team was using it in addition to their usual training program. It was suggested that its use lead to significant gain in muscle strength (about 30 – 40 %). In 1970 claims were published that this 2500 Hz medium frequency interrupted current (Russian current) could produce to generate greater muscle force (contraction) than a maximal voluntary contraction.  

Although it is a medium frequency current but the nerves are stimulated because it is interrupted to give a low frequency stimulation of 50 Hz. Russian current consists of 2500 Hz frequency evenly alternating medium frequency current applied as a series of separate bursts having pulse duration of 0.2 ms (200 µs) which is interspersed (interrupted) with 10 ms (1000 µs) when no current flows producing 50 bursts per second (50 Hz) which is in fact like low frequency faradic type of current.
The theoretical basis for the use of this current is that maximal electrical stimulation of nearly all motor units in a muscle to contract something that can not be obtained in the voluntary contraction. This produces greater muscle contraction and hence produces hypertrophy.

Protocols for Russian current:

Protocol for muscle strengthening/ hypertrophy:

Amplitude/ Intensity:
Tetanic contraction
Pulse rate:
50 – 70 Hz
Pulse duration:
150 – 200 µs
Apply current during volitional activities (voluntary activities)
  • Isometric exercises at several points through range of motion.
  • Slow isokinetic (movements in same direction) exercises 5 - 10° per second.
  • Short arc joint movement when ROM is restricted.

Protocol for muscle spasm reduction:

Tetanic contraction depending upon patient tolerance
Pulse rate:
50 – 70 Hz
Pulse duration:
50 – 175 µs
Muscle contraction isometric

Contra indications:

  • Cardiac pacemakers and Arrhythmias
  • Hemorrhagic condition
  • Thrombosis and thrombophlebitis (inflammation of wall of vein)
  • Early tendon transfer and repair
  • Pregnancy: On pelvic, low back and abdomen
  • Unconscious patient
  • Recent radiotherapy
  • Carotid sinus
  • Child with mental disturbance
  • Malignancy
  • Infected wound and skin lesion