What is Tens Therapy?
"Tens" stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which is quite a mouthful! Basically, it is a kind of therapy that uses low-voltage electrical current pain relief.
When the current is delivered many people report to experience less pain than usual. This is mostly likely due to the fact that electricity from the electrodes stimulates the nerves in an affected area and sends signals to the brain that "confuse" the pain signals.
Additionally, there is also a theory that the current helps produce natural painkillers.
What does TENS stand for?
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
What does a Tens Unit Do?
Tens therapy works to relieve pain, usually muscle, joint, or bone related-issues that cause pain. Some popular illnesses that utilize tens therapy are:
- Tens can also be used to treat acute and chronic pain.
What is a Tens Machine and What is It Used For?
A tens therapy machine is a small, portable, and battery-operated device. The tens therapy machine is usually a box which is worn on the body, attached by wires to sticky pads stuck to the skin.
The purpose of a tens unit is to treat chronic or acute pain as well as offer an alternative to painkillers and other medication.
What are the Benefits of Using a Tens Unit?
- Does not involve the use of drugs
- Offers a an alternative to painkillers
- Strong electronic pain reliever
- Portable pain reliever, you can take your pain relief anywhere and everywhere!
- Can be used by almost anyone
- Adjustable options-you can create and find the best tens level to treat your pain
- Quick pain relief
What does the Tens Unit Uniquely Offer?
- Portability: You can use the tens unit anywhere because it is battery powered, small, and completely portable. From your home, to the break room at work, to vacation...the tens unit effortlessly goes where you go
- Extreme customization: Especially with the addition of dual channels, which allow you to uniquely control both wires, the tens unit is completely customizable. Additionally, most tens units offer 15-25 channels which allow you to pick the pain relief that works best for you.
- Non-intrusive: As previously mentioned, it goes where you go! It can also be used in conjunction with other pain relief tactics and EMS machines.
- Natural Healing: - instead of possible addiction and reliance on
What Does a Tens Unit Feel Like?
Tens machine reviews give an interesting and personal account of what tens machines feel like. The tens unit usually feels a bit like tingling or pins and needles. Many people relate it to a less uncomfortable sensation of your hand or foot "falling asleep".
This is because when the tens unit is turned on it delivers a soothing current through the electrodes to the skin and tissues located beneath the sticky pads. The optimal tens unit settings can vary, as it is such a highly customizable pain treatment, however, it should be set at about 100Hz and for one half hour for pain relievement.
What Does a Tens Unit Do for Muscles?
The tens unit delivers a soothing electrical pulse to the areas it is attached to. The proper placement of tens unit electrodes for pain would be to place the sticky pads on the part of your body that have the most pain.
Additionally, it takes approximately 30 minutes or less to feel the side effects! You can use your tens unit all day, for several hours, or even just simply an hour-whenever you need it to quell your pain.
What are the Side Effects of Using a Tens Unit?
Unlike pain medicine and painkillers, tens units offer little to no side effects. The tens machine is completely FDA approved. As long as you follow directions and use as directed by your medical professional. Tens units allow you to remain more active, less painful, and less painkiller-reliant life! The tens unit side effects are non-existent.
What is a Dual Channel Tens Unit?
A dual channel tens unit allows extra functionality, which surrounds your pain with two to four electrode pads. A dual channels tens unit provides dual isolated channels that allow for independent adjustment of each lead wire.
Dual channel tens units allow for an even more customized pain relief.
Additionally, the duality ensures proper treatment as exactly instructed by a therapist or doctor.
What are the Price Ranges of Tens Units?
Tens units are extremely affordable, even if your insurance doesn't cover them. The lower average range is in-between $29.95-$39.95 dollars, but they can go as high as $100-$500 dollars. But, tens units can be made affordable for all and most offer a free trial for 1-3 months to see if it would truly be worth it for you and your pain management plan.
- Stimulation at a relatively high frequency (80 - 130Hz)
- Short duration pulses
- Less support for manipulation of the pulse width
- Most patients seem to find best effect at around 200ms.
- The stimulation is delivered at ‘normal’ intensity, meaning it isnoticeablebut in no way uncomfortable
- At least 30-45mins to achieve pain relief
- The main pain relief is achieved during the stimulation, with a limited relief after the machine as switched off
- Lower frequency stimulation (2-5Hz)
- Wider/longer pulses in comparison to other TENS units (200-250ms)
- The intensity employed will usually need to be greater than with the traditional TENS-though it will be stronger it should not be uncomfortable
- 30-45 minutes to achieve pain relief
- Onset of pain relief may be slower than with the traditional mode
- Many patients find that stimulation at this low frequency at intervals throughout the day is an effective strategy. The pain relief, after the machine is switched off, may last for several hours, but it will vary between patients
Brief Intense TENS
- Can be used to achieve a rapid pain relief
- The strength of the stimulation may be too intense for some and will not tolerate it
- The pulse frequency applied is high (in the 80-130Hz band)
- The pulse duration is also high (200ms plus).
- The current is delivered at, or close to the tolerance level for the patient, meaning they would not want to turn the machine up any higher
- It is suggested that 15 - 30 minutes at this stimulation level is the most that would normally be used.
Burst Mode TENS
- The burst mod interrupts the stimulation outflow at rate of 2 - 3 bursts / second
- The stimulation intensity will need to be relatively high, though not too high
- It is proposed that the application of BURST mode TENS can effectively stimulate both the "pain gate" and the "opiod" mechanisms simultaneously.
Modulation mode TENS
- The machine delivers a less regular pattern of TENS stimulation in an attempt to reduce or minimize the accommodation effects of patterned stimulation
- Some vary the frequency, some vary the intensity and some vary the pulse duration
- Research evidence does not favor one variation method over another
- This potentially most useful for patients whouse TENS for hours a day