Back, joint and neck pains can cause a great deal of suffering and discomfort. This is why it is important to learn about the different ways of preventing and relieving such pains. When the pains become severe, you should seek medical attention and care. Once the doctor has examined you, they will identify the best interventions for treating the pains. Today, thanks to modern technology, there are modern devices that have revolutionized the medical industry. When it comes to body pains, TENS units are known to produce tremendous results. However, there is a lot that you need to know about these units.
What are TENS units?
TENS is an acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. This is a technique used in the treatment of acute and chronic nerve related pain conditions. It follows that a TENS unit is a small, battery-powered device that is used to relieve pain through this process. The device sends low voltage electric currents that ease the pain in the affected body parts. The unit is connected to two electrodes and can be hooked to a belt. The purpose of these electrodes is to carry the electric current from the device to the skin. When the stimulating pulses reach the skin, they are sent along the nerve strands. This reduces any nerve related pains the patient may have been experiencing.
What do the units do?
TENS units have several settings that you can adjust to control the intensity of the stimulation as well as the duration of the pulses. When the electrodes carry electric current to the skin on the affected area, this produces a massaging sensation. This sensation may not necessarily reduce pain but reduces the patient’s perception of pain. There are two main ways through which these units can successfully eliminate body pains. One of the theories is that the tingling sensation that the stimulation produces may block pain signals from reaching the brain. It is also believed that the stimulation can trigger the body to produce natural painkillers known as Endorphins.
Electrotherapy is commonly used in the treatment of arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, headaches, surgery as well as injuries and wounds.
Are the units effective at working?
There is conflicting information about the effectiveness of TENS units in the elimination of pains. The devices are said to work differently on different people. Some people will experience temporary or permanent relief from their pains, with the condition not reoccurring in future. The effectiveness of the device may be dependent on the condition you are keen on treating as well as the intensity of the treatment. Doctors and therapists have discouraged the use of a TENS unit on pregnant women in the early stages of pregnancy and those who have a pacemaker.
The cost of TENS units
There are different types of TENS units in the market. Anyone looking to buy the devices will have a variety of brands to choose from. This also means that the devices have different specifications and capabilities. While it is possible to find units that retail at $ 40, professional grade clinic units have prices upwards of $ 1000. When buying the units, it is important to place emphasis on the effectiveness of the device rather than the cost.
The benefits of the units
TENS units have changed the way we do electrotherapy. The units provide an easy and convenient way of addressing different pain conditions. Some of the benefits of using the devices include:
- They provide a safe, drug-free and noninvasive way of managing pain
- You will have a great way of achieving pain relief
- The units can lead to increased circulation and healing of the affected body part
- With less pain and massage sensation, patients will have better sleep patterns
- This method of treatment reduces the need to use pain relievers and other drugs
- In the end, the patient will enjoy better motion and function
Disadvantages of using TENS units
For all the advantages that these devices have brought in the medical field, they are not without disadvantages.
- The devices cannot be used on women in the early stages of pregnancy
- When the electric current becomes too intense, it is likely to cause burning or irritation on the skin.
- Just like pregnant women, people with heart conditions should exercise caution when using the units.
- The units may not be safe for use on people with skin allergies.
Before using the units to relieve body pains, it is necessary to consult a licensed doctor. The doctor will advise you on whether your condition warrants the use of the device as well as how to use it.