Some people use a battery-operated device called a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit for pain relief. TENS units operate by delivering tiny electrical impulses through electrodes that are attached to a person's skin with adhesive pads. This flow of electrical impulses can treat pain by impairing the nervous system's capacity to communicate pain signals to the brain and spinal cord. The same electrical impulses also encourage the body to manufacture endorphins, which can help in relieving pain without pain medications. Evidence also shows that transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) treatment can be effective for phantom pain relief and sensations for patients who have lost limbs.
TENS has two different mechanisms of action. According to one idea, the electric current activates nerve cells that prevent the passage of pain signals, altering how painful things feel to you. The alternative viewpoint contends that nerve stimulation increases the body's natural painkiller (endorphin) levels. The perception of pain is then suppressed by the endorphins. Both theories have been tested by the scientific community, and some promising results have shown that transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation treatment can effectively relieve pain, both chronic and acute pain, as well as pain disorders and other maladies related to nociception.
It's a good idea to talk to a doctor about a referral to a physical therapy centre or treatment specialist if you're considering trying TENS. If they believe it might be beneficial, a physiotherapist or health expert might be able to treat your symptoms using TENS. To ensure maximum safety and achieve the greatest outcomes with TENS treatment, it is best to rely on a qualified specialist. TENS therapy has been used and is being researched to treat both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) pain. The following are a few of the most typical conditions that TENS have been used for:
The TENS machine is about the dimensions of a tiny cell phone and is battery-operated. Multiple sets of electrode wires and termination pads are included with the gadget. A non-invasive technique for reducing pain is TENS. People who use TENS for pain treatment may be able to use fewer painkillers, some of which might be addictive or have unfavourable side effects. TENS devices are also practical because they are discreet, portable, and compact. For constant access to pain relief throughout the day, individuals can keep a TENS unit in their pocket or clip it to their belt.
The majority of users of TENS units may do so without risk, and they typically don't encounter any negative side effects. However, some individuals may find the buzzing, tingling, or prickling feeling brought on by a TENS unit to be uncomfortable. The adhesive pads may cause allergies in some persons. Anyone who has skin sensitivity and redness can switch to hypoallergenic products instead. It is crucial that the electrodes never be positioned near the eyes or the front of the neck, even for neck pain. Placing electrodes on the neck can result in spasms and a drop in blood pressure. When used on the eyes, electrodes may elevate intraocular pressure and possibly harm the eye.
According to research, individuals who use a TENS unit every day at the same frequency and strength can become accustomed to the treatment. When a person becomes tolerant, the amount of pain alleviation they experienced when they initially utilised the device is no longer experienced. People can switch between LF and HF TENS throughout each treatment session to avoid this. As an alternative, they might daily increase the TENS' intensity or duration. Some of the variations in research results may be accounted for by the range of electrical stimulation intensities.
The electrodes can be placed on acupuncture points to increase the effectiveness of TENS. In the practice of acupuncture, needles are inserted into the body at precise areas called acupuncture points to activate the nerves under the skin. This, according to experts, helps the body produce endorphins. According to some research obtained by Trusted Source, patients who receive TENS through acupuncture locations may feel less discomfort. Following use of a TENS device, chronic pain alleviation can last for a variety of periods. Some claim that as soon as they turn the device off, their agony returns. For some people, pain alleviation lasts for up to 24 hours.
You can use TENS as frequently as you'd like because it's safe, but it's a good idea to take regular ten-minute pauses every hour or so. Some users of TENS spend more than 5 hours every day doing so. A TENS therapy unit for usage at home can be worthwhile to purchase. Make sure before you buy that if it doesn't work for you, the company will give you a refund within a particular time frame (assuming the machine is in a similar condition to when it was purchased). It shouldn't matter too much if you get a relatively straightforward, low-cost TENS unit because the quality of these devices doesn't vary all that much. Ask to have a machine demonstrated before you purchase it.