What exactly does TENS mean?
If you are living with acute or chronic pain, you know how difficult it can make leading the quality of life you want. That dull, constant ache or that sharp, shooting pain can be debilitating.
You’ve most likely tried a variety of techniques to reduce your pain, from medications to therapies, but if none of them have worked, you’re probably wondering if there is any way that you’ll ever find relief.
The good news is that there is a form of physical therapy that has been found to provide excellent results that may be able to help you. It’s called TENS.
What is a TENS unit?
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. This type of non-invasive physical therapy utilizes a low-voltage electrical current to reduce inflammation, increase circulation, and help with pain.
It provides nerve stimulation through a small, portable electroninc pulse that is no bigger than a radio (think the size of an iPod) that would fit inside your pocket. Typically, the electrostimulation is delivered to the pain site via electrodes that run from the machine and are attached to your body via electrode pads.
Once the electrodes are in place, the device is turned on, it sends out an electronic pulse. When the current sent from the device is delivered to the body, many people have reported that they feel a reduction in the amount of pain they experience.
A TENS device is simple to use, convenient, portable, and can help you to enjoy the benefits of physical therapy at your home, work, or even while traveling. Many still run on a 9 volt or 3 AAA batteries, but some of the more modern units have a rechargeable lithium battery(Pro 3.0) that only needs to be recharged every six to eight weeks.
How TENS Works
A nerve stimulator delivers an electronic pulse to the nerve endings. You control the amount of electrical stimulation you receive while wearing your portable TENS unit. There is a control switch(M button on Utopia Gear devices) that you can use to adjust the frequency of the electronic wavelengths that the unit sends out.
For example, you can set the device so that it sends out a constant flow of current or so that it delivers a quick burst of current, in addition to various intensity levels. We can help with the determine the settings that will work best for your specific needs.
Who Can Benefit from TENS?
There are a variety of muscle, bone, and joint areas that the pulse stimulator can be used to treat. Some of the conditions that the device is most commonly used to treat include:
- Back pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Neck Pain
- Muscle tension and knots
- Leg Pain
- Arm Pain
- Pain Between the Shoulder Blades
- Hip Pain
- Knee Pain
The TENS machine has been used to treat a variety of conditions that cause acute and chronic pain, including the acute pain that is associated with labor and childbirth, and the chronic pain that cancer patients can experience.
Are There Side Effects?
Though this form of electrostimulation has proven to provide relief for many people, there is a small chance that you could experience negative effects if it is not used properly. That said, TENS therapy is generally thought to be safe.
While there aren’t many negative side effects, the most commonly reported adverse effect is skin irritation. This can happen if the skin is not properly cleaned before applying the pads that deliver the electrostimulation, and as a result, you could experience irritation. Likewise, if the unit is used too much, irritation can occur. Cleansing the skin, changing the pads as needed, and using the unit as directed will help you avoid irritation of the skin.
Additionally, it should be noted that electrotherapy should not be used around the head. Additionally, the electrodes should not be placed on the neck by the carotid artery, near the heart, on the throat, over scars, in the pubic area, or inside of the mouth.
Who Shouldn’t Use TENS
While there are very few side effects associated with a TENS unit, there are people who should not use it, as it could complicate a medical condition or cause extremely hazardous effects. People who should not use this device include:
- Those who have a cardiac pacemaker in place.
- Individuals who have been diagnosed with a malignancy of any kind.
- People who have certain types of heart disease.
- Anyone who has epilepsy.
- Women are pregnant, unless otherwise directed by a doctor.
- For the treatment of muscle atrophy, muscle spasm, muscle growth, nerve therapy, or weight loss.
If you believe that the TENS device could benefit you, purchase your nervestimulator from Utopia Gear today.
And if you have any questions about our portable TENS units or muscle stimulators or how transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation works, call us toll free at 888-237-4997 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to answer any or all of your questions.