It’s no secret that some of the most common conditions in people all over the globe are chronic back pain and lumbar pain. And no matter how hard you have tried to fill your office with ergonomic equipment, sometimes it’s just the years that make you experience all of this pain. So, instead of reaching for the strongest pain-blocking pill, you can treat these conditions with TENS therapy. Also known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, this is a pain relief treatment that uses low voltage electric current to locate and ease the pain signals in your body. And this therapy is usually done with a battery-operated tens pain relief unit.
Generally speaking, these units work by delivering small electrical impulses through electrodes which have adhesive pads that should be attached on the skin. Thanks to these pads, the lectrodes can flood through the nervous system reducing its ability to transmit pain signals to the spinal cord and brain. That way, the body can produce more natural pain relievers – endorphins. Unlike these, the older versions of TENS devices were hooked on a belt that was to be connected to two electrodes. When comparing them, the older TENS devices were way bulkier, hence not practical for everyday use.
One thing is for sure, the purpose of both versions is the same. to reduce pain. According to experts, this therapy can help with labour pain, period pain, any type of postoperative pain, joint pain, neck and back pain. Except for this, TENS therapy can also help alleviate the pain caused by endometriosis, arthritis, sports injuries, fibromyalgia, sports injuries, multiple sclerosis, painful diabetic neuropathy, spinal cord injury, etc.
The newest types of these devices have controls that allow people to manage an appropriate level of pain relief. This can be achieved by altering several aspects of the electrical current.
- Intensity – The remote has a dial that allows the user to adjust electrical stimulation intensity;
- Frequency – This refers to the number of electrical pulses per second. For instance, HF – high-frequency pulses can range from 80 – 120 cycles per second and this is great for managing acute pain. LF or low-frequency pulses can range from 1 – 20 cycles per second and they are great for treating chronic pain;
- Duration – This is the number of microseconds the current enters the skin during each pulse.
Benefits of Using TENS Therapy
As you can see, tens pain relief unit is a non-invasive and drug-free way of treating many types of pain. According to experts, people who can feel pain relief from this treatment can significantly, (if not totally) reduce the intake of pain medications. Except for relieving you from the pain, another benefit of owning a device like this is its ease of use and small size. Today’s tens unit models are so small and portable that they can be easily carried in a pocket or clipped onto a belt. This can be extremely useful when at home and used on a daily basis as it can give you immediate access and pain relief.
The latest versions of these units work without the need for remote control. The remote is replaced with an application that can be found on both the App Store and Google Play. Another benefit of the newest version of tens machines is that this doesn’t require some kind of bulky battery pack and wired electrodes. All these things are a thing of the past because today’s versions are wireless and integrate all the needed elements in a compact, eye-catching and small housing. You can use this device directly through its buttons or via your smartphone on which you have downloaded the app and connected the device.
When to Avoid TENS?
Although this is a completely safe way of reducing pain, it’s not advised to be used by pregnant women, people with heart problems, people with epilepsy, people with pacemaker or any other type of electrical/metal implant.
How Long Does the Pain Relief Last?
The pain relief duration can differ from one person to another. Sometimes, the pain relief can last longer than 24 hours while in others, the pain can return immediately or several hours after the use of the device. However, manufacturers and experts state that the pain relief duration can last longer after repeated TENS treatments.
Possible Side Effects
Although not that common, some people can be allergic to the adhesive on the unit’s pads. The most common signs are skin irritation and redness. However, there is an option for those with this condition to switch to the use of hypoallergenic pads.
As you can see, this is a totally harmless way of treating pain. However, before making any purchase, it’s best to consult with a doctor. Once he/she gives you a green light, you can buy yourself one from a trustworthy supplier.